Presenters and winners at Sunday’s Academy Award’s ceremony once again took the opportunity to preach their political opinions, with Hollywood stars lecturing viewers at home on everything from Holocaust-level racism in America today to the importance of immigration.
The annual Oscars ceremony, which took place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, saw both presenters and nominees share their range of politically-charged declarations, further exacerbating the stark divisions that already exist in American society.
Accepting his Oscar for Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Queen singer Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek wasted no time in comparing his own life story to that of the troubled singer.
“We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself,” he said. “I am the son of immigrants from Egypt. I’m a first-generation American. Part of my story is being written right now, and I could not be more grateful to each and every one of you.”
Best Actor goes to @ItsRamiMalek. "To anyone trying to discover their voice, listen – we made a film about a gay man and immigrant who lived his life unapologetically himself." https://t.co/AKHT4BwOJ9 #Oscars pic.twitter.com/VyklhSIY6d
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 25, 2019
Accepting the Oscar for “Best Adapted Screenplay” for his film, BlacKkKlansman, Lee discussed the legacy of slavery and called on people to “mobilize” against President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
“Four hundred years [ago], our ancestors were stolen from all over Africa and brought to Jamestown, Va., enslaved,” Lee said. “Before the world tonight, I give praise to our ancestors who helped build this country.”
“The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize,” he continued. “Let’s all be in the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing!”
Pres. Trump slams Spike Lee, calling the director's speech at the #Oscars a "racist hit on your President."
— ABC News (@ABC) February 25, 2019
Israeli filmmaker Guy Nattiv said in his acceptance speech for the Best Live Action Short award that the prejudice that unraveled during the Holocaust can now be seen “everywhere” in Europe and the United States.
“I moved here five years ago from Israel,” Nattiv declared. “My grandparents are Holocaust survivors. The bigotry that they experienced in the Holocaust, we see that everywhere today, in America, in Europe. This film is about education, it’s about teaching your kids a better way.”
Guy Nattiv, accepting Best Live Action Short award: "My grandparents are Holocaust survivors. The bigotry that they experienced in the Holocaust, we see that everywhere today, in America, in Europe. This film is about…teaching your kids a better way." https://t.co/zSrvQG8ZE6 pic.twitter.com/wDoHAICDgM
— ABC News (@ABC) February 25, 2019
Introducing the Best Foreign Language Film category with actress Angela Bassett, three-time Oscar winner Javier Bardem appeared to aim a veiled criticism President Donald Trump’s plan to construct a wall on the southern Mexico border.
“There are no borders or walls that can restrain ingenuity and talent,” he said. “In any region of any country of any continent, there are always great stories that move us.”
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 25, 2019
Actress Emilia Clarke paid tribute to United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, even comparing her Game of Thrones character “Khaleesi.” She later described the 85-year-old liberal Justice as “a woman who has spent her career at the forefront of the fight against gender discrimination.”
“Khaleesi has nothing on her,” she said. “Justice Ginsburg, if you’d ever like to borrow the dragons, ring me.”
"Khaleesi has nothing on her. Justice Ginsburg, if you'd ever like to borrow the dragons, ring me."
— UPROXX (@UPROXX) February 25, 2019
Actress and comedian Maya Rudolph used the opening of the ceremony to warn President Donald Trump that Mexico would not pay for the cost of a border wall with the United States.
“There is no host tonight, there will not be a popular film category, and Mexico is not paying for the wall,” Rudolph said as she prepared Best Supporting Actress alongside fellow comediennes Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.
“Just a quick update for everybody in case you’re confused, there is no host tonight, there won’t be a popular movie category and Mexico is not paying for the wall.” Well said, Maya Rudolph. #Oscars pic.twitter.com/ATDDu14teS
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) February 25, 2019
While introducing Best Picture nominee Roma, Spanish celebrity chef José Andres singled out “immigrants and women” as the two groups who are moving humanity forward.
“People of the world, each person’s life is a recipe all on its own with different measures of joy and sadness, struggles and success, love and loss,” he said. “[The film] gives a voice to the voiceless reminds us of the understanding and compassion that we all owe to the invisible people in our lives — immigrants and women — who move humanity forward.”
Chef José Andrés: Roma, the Oscar-nominated film, "reminds us of the understanding and compassion that we all owe to the invisible people in our lives: immigrants and women, who move humanity forward!" https://t.co/jUTPEwRqUN pic.twitter.com/sMuQtOiGeO
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 25, 2019