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Political Comments at the Oscars

           If the 2017 Academy Awards were an episode of Friends, it would be called “The One Where the Wrong Movie was Announced as the Winner.” This year’s Oscars will probably always be known as the time that Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced “La La Land” as the winner of Best Picture, when “Moonlight” actually won the award. The next day it was revealed that the envelope that should have contained the winner of the Best Picture award actually contained a copy of the card proclaiming Emma Stone the winner of the Best Actress award, which the presenters interpreted as her film winning the award.

           Even though this mistake will probably be what this awards ceremony will always be remembered for, this year’s awards show should also be remembered for all of the political statements made by the winners, nominees, presenters, and host. This year’s Oscars were the first to take place during the Trump presidency, and Hollywood, which overwhelming supported Hillary Clinton, made no secret of its disdain for the new commander-in-chief.


           Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel criticized President Trump several times throughout his opening monologue. He was sincere when he asked attendees and viewers to reach out to people with different perspectives and try to understand them, then quickly turned to comedy, offering jokes about the president’s the travel ban, vendetta against the media, and criticism of Meryl Streep. He even sent a tweet to the president, mocking his tendency to send out scathing attacks of anyone who he even perceives as insulting or questioning him and, well, every thought that enters his head, from conspiracy theories to policy ideas and promises.


           Many Academy Award winners used their time onstage to call attention to issues that they care about. The winner of the Best Documentary award, Ezra Edelman, dedicated the award to victims of police violence. When the makeup artist from Suicide Squad won his award, he dedicated the award to immigrants like himself. The winner of the award for Best Foreign Film, Iranian-born Asghar Farhadi, didn’t even come to the ceremony as a protest of the travel ban. The writers and directors of award-winning films Zootopia and Moonlight espoused tolerance and peace in their acceptance speeches. The President of the Academy even commented on the diversity of the nominees at this year’s awards, as compared to the controversial lack of diversity last year.


           Several Academy Awards attendees, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ruth Negga, and Karlie Kloss wore blue ribbons to support the American Civil Liberties Union. Awareness of and donations to the ACLU have increased recently after they helped to win a stay against the president’s recent travel ban restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.



Best Actress winner Emma Stone made her own subtle political statement by wearing a pin of Planned Parenthood’s logo attached to her dress. Dakota Johnson also had the pin attached to her purse. The Trump administration and Republican members of Congress have threatened to defund Planned Parenthood because they provide abortions, even though they also provide health care services to women who may not have access to health care otherwise. Although, those politicians have made clear that the health of lower-income women isn’t high on their priority list, so they’re willing to make that sacrifice.


           The Oscars have experienced their fair share of controversy, and can be seen as frivolous and self-congratulatory, but they should also be recognized as a platform for the rich, talented, and powerful to use their voices to inspire positive change.

Hello, my name is Charlotte! I am an English and Communications major here at Sonoma State, which means that I am pretty much always reading or writing something. I love reading articles posted here on Her Campus, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be one of the people who gets to write articles for the site. Aside from writing, I love reading, politics, Netflix, Disney princess movies, the word lovely and the color pink. Thank you very much for reading! all my love, charlotte
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