With a country that can’t stop talking about the president and his policies, it was no surprise that the Oscars got political Sunday. It wasn’t nearly as vitriolic as it could have been, but it wasn’t quiet either. Here are some of the highlights from the night’s various achievements in political speech.
1. Jimmy Kimmel’s Jokes
Jimmy Kimmel said of Trump before hosting: “Love ’em or hate ’em, he is Topic No. 1, 2 and 4.” He followed through with some political jokes over the course of the evening, but never really dug his teeth in. Early on he quipped, “Fake tans we love, but fake news?!”
Later on, he trolled Trump’s Twitter, by live-tweeting to the president, “u up?” followed by “#MerylSaysHi.”
2. The Absentee Winner
The Salesman won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, but Iranian director Asghar Farhadi stayed home in protest — though at one point it was unclear whether he would be allowed in the United States due to Trump’s travel restrictions.
While he wasn’t there, astronaut Anousheh Ansari and former NASA scientist Firouz Naderi accepted the award on his behalf, and read his remarks:
3. The Commercials
Yes, even the commercials got political Sunday night. Cadillac did an ad that repurposed footage from recent protests while the New York Times ran an ad that drove home the importance of truthful reporting in the current political climate. But those weren’t the only ads with something to say.
4. Gael Garcia Bernal Stands Up Against the Wall
Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal spoke out against Trump’s proposed border wall while presenting the award for Best Animated Movie, saying, “As a Mexican, as a Latin-American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I am against any form of wall.”
5. Barry Jenkins Has Your Back
Moonlight screenwriters Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, and they had a message for anyone who feels marginalized by President Trump.
“All you people out there who feel like your life is not reflected, the Academy has your back, the ACLU has your back. For the next four years we will not leave you alone, we will not forget you.”
Jenkins’ cowriter, McCraney, who based Moonlight partly on his own life, added, “to all the black and brown boys and girls and non-gender-conforming individuals this is for you.”
6. The White Helmets Wins
The White Helmets is a 40-minute documentary you can watch now on Netflix. It won the award for Best Documentary Short, and Director Orlando von Einsiedel accepted the Oscar and explained backstage that the film’s cinematographer Khaled Khateeb, wasn’t able to attend because of a problem with his visa. It was a direct illustration of the way changes in U.S. travel and immigration policies are impacting people’s lives. The film’s subject, Raed Saleh, chose not to attend, but he Von Einsiedel read a statement on his behalf explaining that, “Our organization is guided by a verse from the Koran: To save one life is to save all of humanity.”
7. Even the Disney Movie Is Taking On Trump
As expected, Disney’s Zootopia won Best Animated Film, and co-director Rich Moore was very aware that the inclusive message of the movie is at odds with some of the president’s politics.
“We are so grateful to the audiences all over the world that embraced this film with this story of tolerance being more powerful than fear of the other,”Moore said.
8. Pins & Ribbons
Some of the night’s political statements were easy to miss. Emma Stone and Dakota Johnson both wore small Planned Parenthood pins while Ruth Negga and Lin-Manuel Miranda both wore blue ribbons for the ACLU.
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