89th Academy Awards: An Oscar dipped in political dissent

Taking a stand against the policy changes by the Trump administration, a chosen few decided to stay away from the Oscars this year

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The Academy Awards took on a political colour with eminent members of the film fraternity taking a stand against recent administrative changes by Donald Trump's government in the United states. Political innuendos wrapped the 89th academy awards with the fraternity displaying brazen dissent to Trump administration.

‘In solidarity with the immigrants and refugees’

On Sunday, Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar for The Salesman but chose to boycott the awards night to register is protest against Trump's ban on immigrants. Farhadi and many others chose to give the Oscars a miss in solidarity with the immigrants and refugees.

Oscar statues lined up backstage during the Oscars in Los Angeles. Photo credit: PTI

‘Out of respect for the people of my country’

Reading a statement from Farhadi. Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian to go into space, who accepted the award on his behalf read out a statement from him that said, "I am sorry I am not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US."

Even before the award ceremony began, people understood quickly that the 89 academy awards was going to be bigger than a mere award function. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel's opening monologue set the tone for the rest of the evening.

A scene from Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman

Film fraternity rallies behind Streep

The funny man hailed Meryl Streep after she was called an 'overrated actress' by Trump following her golden globes speech. She didn't have to say a word but a standing ovation was enough to convey that the film fraternity rallied behind her even if it meant going against the President of the United States. Justin Timberlake, who sang and danced his way through his Best Song contender Can't Stop the Feeling from Trolls. He aimed at taking potshots at all the people who trolled Streep.

Actress Meryl Streep poses for photographers. Photo credit: PTI

The Trump ban

Call it coincidence or deliberate act to convey dissent to those who run the government. Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar award, a black Muslim at that, making it very clear that Muslims are not banned at the Academy Awards, the US government may. Ali won the Academy Award for the best supporting actor for his role in The Moonlight. While his win, coming on close heels of Trump Ban on Muslims did not go unnoticed, the actor also utilised the opportunity to send out a message to those in authority.

United States President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with House Republicans in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Photo credit: AP/PTI


Sending out a message

"When we get caught up in the minutia, the details that make us all different, there are two ways of seeing that. It's an opportunity to see the texture of that person, to see what makes them unique. Or it's an opportunity to go to war about it. To say that that person's different than me and I don't like it, so let's battle," he said.

Mahershala Ali poses in the press room with the award for best actor in a supporting role for Moonlight at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Photo credit: AP/PTI

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