TAMPA — The 2022 Oscar nominations show Tuesday morning included a stop at Sligh Middle Magnet School in Tampa.
For some of the nominations, actors and hosts Leslie Jordan and Tracee Ellis Ross pitched to remote locations around the country.
At Sligh Middle, Titus O’Neil, pro wrestling star and former college football standout, joined eighth grader Kourtney Anderson to present the nominees for best animated feature.
O’Neil, whose real name is Thaddeus M. Bullard Sr., adopted the school through his Bullard Foundation and the Hillsborough School Board in October voted to establish the Bullard Academy there.
Ross praised the work the academy has done to “serve economically disadvantaged students with a first-class education and wonderful culture of positivity.”
Ross called Bullard a huge movie fan. The diminutive Jordan quipped, “A huge movie fan and a huge guy. Well, to me, everyone is huge.”
Against a backdrop of masked, cheering students in red tracksuits, O’Neil introduced Kourtney as an honor student and track star who’s a big fan of the Twilight teen vampire movies. She read the animated feature category’s nominees: Encanto, Flee, Luca, The Mitchells vs. the Machines and Raya and the Last Dragon.
Other remote presentations during the Oscars show included Times Square, where New York City firefighters did the honors, and the Chadwick Boseman School of the Fine Arts at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where nominations for best actor were read.
Boseman, who died of cancer in 2020, was nominated for best actor in 2021.
The half-hour show was live-streamed at Oscar.com, Oscars.org, the social media platforms of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and on national broadcast and streaming news programs like ABC’s Good Morning America and ABC News Live.