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Chloé Zhao accepting the Best Director Oscar onstage during the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station in Los Angeles on Sunday. Photo: Todd Wawrychuk/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

Chloé Zhao made history on Sunday when she was awarded the Best Director Oscar for "Nomadland" — making her the first female of color and first Asian woman to win the prestigious prize in the Academy Awards' 93-year history to win.

Why it matters: Zhao's victory is a win for Asian women in Hollywood, who are often overlooked for main character, producer and director roles. "Nomadland" went on to win the Best Picture Oscar.

What they're saying: In an acceptance speech, Zhao recited a poem that inspired her as a young girl in Mandarin.

  • "People at birth are inherently good," she said, translating the poem. "Those six letters had such a great impact on me as a kid and I still truly believe them today."

Be smart: Zhao is just the second woman in history to win the Oscar for Best Director, following Kathryn Bigelow for "The Hurt Locker" in 2010.

The big picture: Diversity was highlighted more on Sunday during the 93rd Academy Awards than perhaps any other show in Oscars history.

  • Following Zhao's win, Yuh-Jung Youn, who is South Korean, won the award for best supporting actress for her role in "Minari."

Go deeper: Read more on the Oscars in Monday's Axios AM newsletter

Editor's note: The story corrects Zhao's nationality. She is Chinese, not Chinese American.

Go deeper

Apr 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Diversity takes center stage at the Oscars

Director/Producer Chloe Zhao, winner of Best Directing and Best Picture for "Nomadland," in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday at Union Station in Los Angeles. Photo: Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images

A slew of first-time winners made history at the 93rd Academy Awards Sunday night, bringing the Oscars' focus on diversity into clearer view this year.

Why it matters: Ever since the #OscarsSoWhite social media campaign that began in 2015, the Academy has sought to shake the show's reputation as a mostly white male-dominated event. Still, Hollywood has a long way to go in achieving diversity amongst its ranks.

Anthony Hopkins pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman in Best Actor acceptance speech

A mural of Boseman in south London. Photo: John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images

Anthony Hopkins accepted his Academy Award for Best Actor in a short video on Monday, saying from his native Wales that he "did not expect to get this award" and wants to "pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too early."

Why it matters: At 83 years old, Hopkins is the oldest actor to win an Oscar — his second for Best Actor — for his performance as a man struggling with progressive dementia in "The Father."

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).

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