The Academy Awards are the biggest night in Hollywood, but in 2017, they were also one of the biggest nights in Washington.
President Trump‘s busy schedule since moving into office in January was front and centre at last night’s Oscars, from host Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue to Best Foreign Language Film nominees boycotting this year’s award shows.
Here are a few ways that President Trump took over the Academy Awards.
ACLU Blue Ribbons
In one of the most visual ways celebrities spoke out against Trump, a number of stars sported blue ribbons on their tuxes and gowns to show their support for the American Civil Liberties Union. Much of the ACLU’s efforts in 2017 have been taken up by fighting for people whose rights President Trump has stripped away. Best Actress nominee Ruth Negga earned a nomination for her role in Loving as Mildred Loving, a black woman who worked with the ACLU to change the law and make her marriage to her white husband Richard Loving legal. Negga was one of the many celebs to show their support for the ACLU, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Busy Phillips and Barry Jenkins.
Suicide Squad/Immigrant Squad
“I’m an immigrant. I come from Italy. I work around the world. This is for all the immigrants,” said Alessandro Bertolazzi, who won for Best Makeup for his work on Suicide Squad.
Asghar Fahadi’s In Absentia Speech
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 27, 2017
Asghar Fahadi won Best Foreign Language Film for The Salesman, but along with his fellow nominees, he did not attend the Oscars. Instead, a colleague delivered his moving speech for him.”I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of the other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants into the US. Dividing the world into the ‘Us’ and ‘Our Enemies’ categories creates fear. A deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which have themselves been victims of aggression. Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others, an empathy which we need today more now than ever.”
Gael Garcia Bernal’s Personal Plea
While presenting for Best Animated Feature Film, actor Gael Garcia Bernal used his screen time to express his feelings on President Trump’s wall. “Flesh and blood actors are migrant workers. We travel all over the world, we build families, we construct stories, we build life that cannot be divided,” said Bernal. “As a Mexican, as a Latin American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I’m against any type of wall that wants to separate us.”
Jimmy Kimmel’s Hosting Duties
This was the first year late night host Jimmy Kimmel got to steer the Academy Awards and he didn’t waste a moment taking shots at President Trump.
“Some of you will get to come up here on the stage tonight and give a speech that the president of the United States will tweet about in all caps during his 5 am bowel movement tomorrow.”
“I want to say thank you to President Trump. Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racists?”
“We’re also here to honour the actors that seem great, but aren’t. Of all the great actors here in Hollywood, one in particular has stood the test of time for her many uninspiring and overrated performances…Meryl Streep has phoned it in for more than 50 films over her lackluster career…Nice dress by the way. Is that an Ivanka?”
“Now something very rare for these days, a president who believes in both arts and sciences.”
“We’re more than two hours into the show and Donald Trump hasn’t tweeted at us once. I’m starting to get worried about him.”
“This broadcast is being watched by millions of Americans and around the world by 220 countries that now hate us.”
“If there’s anyone here from CNN, or the LA or New York Times, if you work for anything with the word ‘Times’ in it, even, like, Medieval Times, i’d like to ask you to leave the building right now, okay? We have no tolerance for fake news.”