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Photo: Getty Images

Green Book, a civil rights-era comedy and drama, made history Sunday night, taking home the prize for Best Picture at the 91st Academy Awards.

Why it matters: Voters weren't yet ready to hand over the top award to Netflix, which mounted a reported $25-30 million public relations campaign for its black-and-white foreign-language film "Roma." And, most importantly, the night also saw a host of historic wins for minorities at the awards.

  • Wins for "Green Book" and "BlacKkKlansman," which saw Spike Lee finally score an Oscar for adapted screenplay, highlighted the power of race relations at the box office, despite the fact that the former faced numerous controversies and criticisms during its campaign.
  • Two categories saw African-American women win for the first time. Hannah Beachler and Ruth E. Carter took home the prize for production design and costume design, respectively.
  • Regina King and Mahershala Ali, both African-American, took home the awards for Best Supporting Actress and Actor.
  • "Black Panther," the first major superhero movie with an African-American lead, scored three awards.
  • "Bohemian Rhapsody" star Rami Malek, a first-generation American born to Egyptian immigrants, won for Best Actor for playing Queen's Freddie Mercury. The film took home the most awards of the night with four wins.

The big picture: Despite a ceremony without a host, the show went off relatively smoothly, proving that an emcee may not be as crucial to produce a well-coordinated show is with no major gaffes.

What's next? If ad breaks are any sign of the future, then Netflix won't be giving up on its movie dreams despite the Best Picture snub. Netflix — and streaming rival Disney — both previewed their next big projects during commercial breaks with ads for "The Irishman" and "The Lion King."

Go deeper: Oscars surprises

Go deeper

Cuomo asks New York AG and chief judge to choose "independent" investigator into sexual harassment claims

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Feb. 24. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

A special counselor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Sunday asking the state's attorney general and chief judge to jointly pick an "independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation" to investigate claims of sexual harassment against the governor.

The state of play: The statement is an about-face from Cuomo, who had previously selected a former judge close to a top aide to lead the investigation, the New York Times reported, a move that was widely criticized.

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.