The 2017 Oscars Political Moments Were Thought-Provoking & Inspiring
Everything is political these days, even awards shows. Actors and filmmakers are using their time at the microphone to make poignant points about politics, unity, and representation. The political moments during the 2017 Oscars started as soon as the show did and continued throughout the evening.
Jimmy Kimmel's opening monologue dished quite a few political jokes, taking aim at Trump and his policies. But, there weren't just political jokes on Sunday. Things also got serious in several presentations and acceptance speeches. People mentioned Trump's temporary travel ban, the wall Trump wants to build on the Mexican border, police brutality, and more during the Oscars. Between the jokes that were all too real, and the speeches that were serious, but so important, Hollywood's best and brightest came ready to share their spotlight with issues that really matter.
And, it wasn't just during the show that people took stands. During the red carpet, a number of celebrities showed up wearing blue ribbons in support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the organization that has been working in opposition to many of Trump's policies — including the travel ban. With that starting out the night, it's no surprise that the political theme kept coming throughout the show. Here are some of the standout moments.
The ACLU Ribbons
Lin-Manuel Miranda was among the stars that supported the organization on Sunday.
Jimmy Kimmel's Monologue
Kimmel had both funny jokes ("I want to say thank you to President Trump. Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? That's gone, thanks to him") and serious takes on politics in his opening message:
"I’m not the person to unite this country, but it can be done. … I don't want to get too serious, but there are millions and millions of people watching right now and if every one of you took a minute to reach out to one person you disagree with, someone you like, and have one positive, considerate conversation, not as liberals or conservatives, but as Americans, if we could all do that we could make America great again. It starts with us."
Asghar Farhadi's Award
Farhadi skipped the ceremony in protest of Trump's travel ban, one which originally kept him unable to attend the ceremony in the first place. According to the Washington Post, "Farhadi sent two prominent Iranian-Americans in his place to the ceremony: Anousheh Ansari, the first female private space traveler, and Firouz Naderi, a former director at NASA." Ansari read his speech, which was a thoughtful response to everything that's happened to immigrants in these last few weeks since Trump took office.
Katherine Johnson's Appearance
Hidden no more, Hidden Figures subject and general NASA badass Katherine Johnson appeared onstage with the Hidden Figures cast at the age of 98 to introduce the documentary category.
Gael Garcia Bernal's Presentation Speech
When presenting the Best Animated Feature Film, Garcia Bernal took a stand against Trump's proposed wall.
From Hyatt's one about inclusion to the New York Times' one about truth in media, even the commercials had something to say about politics.
The OJ: Made In America Speech
After this won Best Documentary, the director, Ezra Edelman, dedicated his speech to murder victims Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. "This is also for other victims, victims of police violence, police brutality," Edelman said. "This is their story, as it is Ron and Nicole's."
The White Helmets Speech
The Documentary Short winners read an impassioned speech about helping those in Syria.
Salma Hayek's Raised Eyebrows
When talking about the themes in the Best Live Action Short Films, Hayek gave a pointed eyebrow raise during this phrase: "When to challenge authority." If you listen to the Oscars, the time to do that is definitely now.
Best Adapted Screenplay Speech
When Moonlight won, the winners used their speech to stand up for anyone who has been marginalized of late and all too frequently in the past.
Awards season may be over, but Hollywood standing in resistance against the discriminatory aspects of Trump's agenda may be just beginning.