Once an evening of backslapping and merrymaking within the narrow confines of Hollywood, the Academy Awards this time looked like a United Nations exercise in diversity. The 79th annual Oscars feature their most ethnically varied lineup ever, with stars and stories that reflect the growing multiculturalism taking root around the globe.
‘‘What a wonderful night. Such diversity in the room,’’ said Ellen DeGeneres, serving as Oscar host for the first time, ‘‘in a year when there’s been so many negative things said about people’s race, religion and sexual orientation.
‘‘And I want to put this out there: If there weren’t blacks, Jews and gays, there would be no Oscars,’’ she said, adding’’ ‘‘Or anyone named Oscar, when you think about that.’’