It’s an exciting day in the run up to the 2018 Oscars because — buckle up — the first group of Oscars presenters has been announced. As our culture goes through a tectonic shift in which we make a conscientious effort to spotlight women, people of color, queer folks and, well, essentially anyone not a straight white male, it’s great to see that the Academy is creating a presenters roster to reflect that. It doesn’t hurt that the presenters announced thus far are all so cool, you basically want to be BFFs with them immediately.
Among the first group of actors announced as presenters for the 2018 Oscars, we have Girls Trip star Tiffany Haddish; Oscar-nominated screenwriter (for The Big Sick), actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani; Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman; Oscar-nominated actor (for I, Tonya) Margot Robbie; Spiderman: Homecoming star Tom Holland and Oscar-nominated director (for Lady Bird) Greta Gerwig. Jennifer Garner also made the cut, as did Big Little Lies star Laura Dern.
Add to this list the presenters we knew would be a sure thing because of an Oscars tradition where the previous year’s winner in the major acting categories presents to the new winner, and we know that Emma Stone, Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis will also be presenting. If you recall, even though Casey Affleck won the Best Actor award last year, he will not be attending the Oscars this year.
While all of this news is very, very exciting, the 2018 Oscars will also be making presenter history with the inclusion of Daniela Vega, who will be the first transgender woman to present. Vega is the star of the hit Chilean film A Fantastic Woman, which is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. While award shows in general are no stranger to trans presenters (Laverne Cox presented at the Creative Arts Emmys in 2017), Vega presenting at the Oscars, arguably the most prestigious award show of the year, is a fantastic sign that the times really are changing in Hollywood.
“Whether returning to the Oscars stage or gracing it for the first time, each of these artists brings their own distinguishing and energetic appeal,” Oscars producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd said in a statement accompanying the announcement of the presenters. Simply put, they’re not wrong at all. If this is the lineup for the presenters, who knows what kind of good omens await us when it comes to predicting the winners this year.