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Oscars Vs. Politics

Jimmy+Kimmel+hosting+the+Oscars.
Jimmy Kimmel hosting the Oscars.

Jimmy Kimmel hosting the Oscars.

Jimmy Kimmel hosting the Oscars.

Hannah Hovrud, Staff Writer

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The 2017 Oscars this year seemed destined to get political and almost everyone knew that before the ceremony even began.
This year was the 89th Anniversary for the Academy Awards ceremony. After everything with the election, the nation seemed more divided than ever. Hollywood stars who are overwhelmingly liberal have been vocal opponents of most of President Trump’s policies.

It didn’t take long at all for things to get political. It happened before the speeches even got started.

On the red carpet, there were several political moments. One example was the blue ribbons. Several actress and actresses wore blue ribbons in honor of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

It made sense for Negga who was nominated best actress for “Loving”. Negga played the role of a black women being jailed for marrying a white man, and the ACLU represented the couple in its 1917 Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia. But the ribbons weren’t the only political things at the ceremony.

Before the red carpet even began, director Ava DuVernay nominated for the documentary “13th” tweeted out a picture of herself holding up a sweatshirt that read “Trayvon”. That Sunday marked the anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, who was shot by a Florida neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012. Her fashion was also political because it was from a Lebanese designer.

Host Kimmel did more than dabble in politics during his opening monologue. The most pointed comment: “I want to say thank you to President Trump,” he said. “I mean, remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist?”

He mentioned that the Oscars were airing in “225 countries that now hate us,” and said he was happy that Homeland Security let French Oscar nominee Isabelle Huppert into the country.

The U.S. is divided right now, Kimmel said, and people have been telling the host that he needs to say something to unite everyone.

“Let’s just get something straight off the top: I can’t do that. There’s only one Braveheart in this room and he’s not going to unite us either,” Kimmel said referring to Mel Gibson. Then Kimmel said that the best thing to do would be for people to reach out to someone they disagree with and have a conversation. “That could make America great again,” he said.

Kimmel went very overboard with his opinion over the election and politics. He also made very many jokes about President Trump that were all not appropriate.

The president of the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cherry Boone Isaacs, didn’t get overtly political, but her message was clear. It was all about inclusion.

“Tonight is proof that art has no borders,” she said after noting that, after two straight years of #OscarsSoWhite, the nominees are more diverse this year. She also detailed how art brings people together regardless of country of origin.
“All creative artists around the world are connected by an unbreakable bond that is powerful and permanent,” she said.

Asghar Farhadi, who won for “The Salesman,” didn’t attend the ceremony, but he still made a political statement. The filmmaker chose not to travel to the United States because of President Trump’s travel ban, but he sent a speech to the person accepting the award on his behalf.

“Dividing the world into us and our enemies categories creates fear,” the statement read. But he said that artists have the power to bring people together. Filmmakers “create empathy between us and others, an empathy we need more today than ever,” Farhadi wrote.

A few of the commercials seemed to be directly addressing Donald Trump and his America-first policies. One ad featured the song “What the World Needs Now Is Love” that showed people of different races and backgrounds seemingly eyeing each other suspiciously before ultimately finding a special connection. The ad concludes with the words, “For a world of understanding.”

The Oscars was full of political conversations and was divided for the 89th anniversary in 2017. This year’s ceremony wasn’t the greatest and most people believe it wasn’t focused on what the event was about. Hopefully the 90th anniversary in 2018 will be better.

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