ABC has announced the first round of Oscars presenters for the upcoming ceremony, and it’s a wonderfully talented bunch of personalities. Last year’s winners for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Supporting Actor—Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Mahershala Ali—will return to hand out those same awards this year, but Best Actor winner Casey Affleck has already announced he won’t be attending the ceremony. Indeed, there was some question over his involvement given allegations about him in the past contrasting the current #MeToo movement, and Affleck bowed out early so as not to be a distraction.
Additionally, 2018 nominees Greta Gerwig (Best Director, Original Screenplay), Margot Robbie (Best Actress), and Kumail Nanjiani (Original Screenplay) will be presenting awards during the ceremony, as will Chadwick Boseman, Laura Dern, Jennifer Garner, Tom Holland, and to the delight of many, Tiffany Haddish.
The final presenter announced here is a notable one: actress Daniela Vega. Unless I’m wrong (I did some cursory research and I don’t think I am), Vega will be the first openly transgender performer to present at the Oscars ceremony, coming on the heels of musician Antony Hegarty’s nomination last year marking the second openly transgender Oscar nominee in history. Vega is a Chilean actress and singer who broke out in a big way with last year’s A Fantastic Woman, which is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.
This is but the first round of presenters announced, so look for plenty more famous people to grace the stage on Oscar night. Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd are producing the ceremony, and there are a lot of eyes on the kind of tone the show will strike in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements that have rocked the industry to its core. It’ll be interesting to see how it’s all handled, but host Jimmy Kimmel does a pretty solid job of navigating humor and earnestness on his talk show, so one hopes he can bring that level of balance to the ceremony.
The Oscars will air live on ABC Sunday, March 4th. Click here for my current predictions.