A timeline of every important — and crazy — moment that happened this awards season
It’s been a long awards season. Like, really long. Like, Black Panther came out 12 months ago, if you can believe it. The Academy announced and then walked back so many decisions it’s a wonder there’s even an awards ceremony to be had. But for those of us who keep track of this like it’s our jobs or something (for us, it is), it’s all part of the game.
As we approach Oscar night on Sunday, Feb. 24, we take stock of everything that’s happened in the past calendar year to bring us to this point.
Feb. 16, 2018: Black Panther opens in U.S. theaters.
March 16, 2018: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President John Bailey under investigation for an allegation of sexual harassment.
March 27, 2018: The Academy dismisses allegation against Bailey after a sub-committee “thoroughly reviewed and considered the claim.”
March 19, 2018: Shoplifters, a future Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film, earns the coveted Palme D’or at Cannes. Spike Lee receives the Grand Jury Prize for directing BlacKkKlansman, while Cold War‘s Pawel Pawlikowski wins Best Director.
June 14, 2018: The Academy elects a new board of governors, including actor Alfred Molina.
Jan. 19, 2018: Mr. Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? feels like a shoe-in for Best Documentary at the Oscars following its glowing Sundance Film Festival debut.
June 25, 2018: The Academy officially invites 928 new members, 49 percent of which were women and 38 percent representing people of color.
August 2018: Disney hires awards strategist Cynthia Swartz to launch an Oscars campaign for Black Panther.
Aug. 7, 2018: Bailey re-elected as Academy president for second term.
Aug. 8, 2018: The Academy adds Popular Film category.
Aug. 30, 2018: Buzz begins for Roma, A Star Is Born, First Reformed, and The Favourite with world premieres at the Venice Film Festival.
Sep. 1, 2018: Melissa McCarthy impresses with rare dramatic performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival.
Sep. 5, 2018: Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy named first female recipient of the Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.
Sep. 6, 2018: The Academy postpones Popular Film category over backlash from critics and industry members.
Sep. 8, 2018: Willem Dafoe enters the race with acting honors from the Venice Film Festival for his performance in Eternity’s Gate. Roma receives the coveted Golden Lion for best film, while Joel and Ethan Cohen win Best Screenplay for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
Sep. 9, 2018: If Beale Street Could Talk, Green Book gain momentum as films makes world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Sep. 16, 2018: Green Book officially enters the awards race after director Peter Farrelly wins Grolsch People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Oct. 8, 2018: Critics release first reviews of Bohemian Rhapsody praising Rami Malek’s performance but calling out its handling of Freddie Mercury’s story.
Nov. 7, 2018: Viggo Mortensen utters the N-word during a Q&A screening event for Green Book, adding fuel to criticisms from some reviewers that the film is another “magical negro” story. The actor issued an apology shortly thereafter.
Nov. 15, 2018: Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie gain buzz for performances in Mary Queen of Scots, which premiered at the AFI Festival. The film as a whole is ultimately snubbed at the Golden Globes and Oscars for acting categories.
Nov. 23, 2018: The Favourite debuts in select U.S. theaters.
Dec. 4, 2018: Kevin Hart announced as host of the 91st Academy Awards
Black Panther’s award season cred gets a boost with three Golden Globe nominations (Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Original Score, Best Original Song).
Writer-director Adam McKay’s Vice leads the Golden Globe nominations with six total nods.
Golden Globe foreign film nomination for Girl slammed by trans critics over the film’s controversial, graphic scene and apparent misrepresentation of the trans experience.
Dec. 14, 2018: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse explodes into theaters with positive reviews, audience response and word of mouth.
The real-life brother of Don Shirley, portrayed by Mahershala Ali in Green Book, denounces the film for the “symphony of lies” perpetuated by the story.
Bohemian Rhapsody‘s global box office tally balloons to $608.7 million, making it the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time.
The Wife’s Glenn Close takes Best Actress – Drama over Can You Ever Forgive Me?’s Melissa McCarthy and A Star Is Born’s Lady Gaga.
Jan. 9, 2019: Green Book screenwriter Nick Vallelonga’s 9/11 tweet about witnessing the now-debunked “Muslims in Jersey City cheering when towers went down” resurfaces. Vallelonga deleted his Twitter account and subsequently apologized for the tweet.
New York Magazine’s The Cut publishes an article about previous accounts of Green Book director Farrelly flashing his penis as a joke to various crew members, including actress Cameron Diaz. Farrelly subsequently apologized for his actions.
Jan. 20, 2019: Green Book becomes a Best Picture Oscar frontrunner with top honors from Producers Guild of America Awards.
Spike Lee receives his first directing Oscar nomination for BlacKkKlansman, while Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski landed a surprise nod in the same category for Cold War.
Detainment‘s Oscar nomination in live-action short category condemned by mother of murdered child at the center of the short.
Jan. 23, 2019: The Atlantic publishes new claims against Bohemian Rhapsody‘s credited director Bryan Singer (he was fired during production but retains credit) over allegedly having sex with underage boys.
First-time Oscar voter Questlove suggests Won’t You Be My Neighbor? was snubbed because it alphabetically falls lower on the list of nominees. “I’m willing to assume most people did NOT read/research all the noms BEFORE voting—you get 5 votes on a ballot and most people vote as they read down,” he wrote.
Jan. 24, 2019: Variety reports “Shallow” from A Star Is Born and “All the Stars” from Black Panther will be the only Best Original Song nominees to be performed at the Oscars, a decision that sparked backlash as producers looked to trim down the runtime of the show.
Jan. 27, 2019: Black Panther wins Best Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Additional top acting honors go to Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place), and Glenn Close (The Wife).
Jan. 31, 2019: Oscars producers announce musical performances during the show of “I’ll Fight” (RBG) and “The Place Where Lost Things Go” (Mary Poppins Returns) following backlash.
Feb. 1, 2019: Oscars producers add additional musical performance of “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs).
Feb. 2, 2019: Alfonso Cuarón wins top award for Roma from Directors Guild of America.
Feb. 6, 2019: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts suspends Bryan Singer’s BAFTA Award nomination for Bohemian Rhapsody in light of The Atlantic‘s Jan. 23 report.
Feb. 10, 2019: The Favourite becomes the favorite of the BAFTA Awards ceremony with seven wins, though Roma takes home Best Film and Best Director.
Feb. 11, 2019: The Academy decides to hand out cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, and live-action short awards during commercial breaks.
Feb. 14, 2019: The Academy reverses decision to present certain awards during commercial breaks amid backlash from filmmakers and other industry members.
Feb. 17, 2019: Eighth Grade and Can You Ever Forgive Me? win big at Writers Guild of America Awards with best original screenplay and best adapted screenplay, respectively. The former was shut out of the Oscar nominations and the latter was left out of the Best Picture category.
Feb. 18, 2019: An Adam Lambert-fronted Queen joins roster of musical performances at the Oscars, fueling criticism of producers who initially wanted to hand out awards during commercial breaks to trim down the show’s runtime.
Feb. 21, 2019: A rep for Kendrick Lamar confirms he and SZA won’t perform “All the Stars” at the Oscars after all.
Feb 24, 2019: In an eventful, history-making ceremony with a wide-ranging list of winners, every single Best Picture-nominated film collects at least one trophy at the Oscars. It is the first year in Academy Awards history that a majority of acting awards go to people of color, and a new record is set for the most individual black winners (seven) in one ceremony.
[This article was originally published Feb. 21, 2019, and most recently updated Feb. 24, 2019.]