The 92nd annual Academy Awards kicked off with a bizarre and thematically scattershot dance number that conflated Mr. Rogers, Black History Month, black queer artists, and the art-house horror movie Midsommar.
Pop star Janelle Monáe took the spotlight dressed as Fred Rogers, the subject of the Tom Hanks movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Earlier in the evening, Monae spoke on the red carpet, paying tribute to “black queer artists.”
“I’m so proud to be standing here as a Black queer artist telling stories. Happy Black History Month!” she said.
Monae shared the Dolby Theater stage with fellow queer artist Billy Porter, singing a duet as backup performers dressed as characters from 1917, Joker, and Little Women performed an extended dance medley.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 10, 2020
Later, Monae donned a costume from the movie Midsommar to enlist the A-list crowd in a singalong before somehow ending up in the aisles on her back.