The 92nd annual Academy Awards were held on Sunday and Janelle Monáe opened the show with a musical number that was equal parts pro-Black, pro-women and pro-queer.
Not one to hold her tongue, and always willing to speak out on social issues, Monáe used her performance as a platform to speak out about the Oscars mostly white nominees.
“It’s time to come alive,” sang Monáe in the show’s opening number, “because the Oscars is so white!”
Monáe opened the show with a rendition of Fred Rogers’ classic theme song “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”. Donning a red cardigan, an obvious homage to Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Heller was one of many women who were snubbed in the Best Director category this year.
“Tonight, we celebrate all the amazing talent in this room,” Monáe said. “We celebrate all the women who directed phenomenal films.”
Monáe soon kicked things into high gear and was joined by dancers who were dressed as characters from films such as Us, Queen & Slim and Dolemite Is My Name. All three films, which garnered critical acclaim, were overlooked by the Academy.
Monáe then sang a duet with Billy Porter, who made history last year for becoming the first openly gay man to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series for his portrayal of Pray Tell on Pose.
“I’m so proud to stand here as a Black, queer artist, telling stories,” Monáe exclaimed. “Happy Black History Month!”
Watch Monáe’s performance below.
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