Most Political Moment Came From Guy Who Wasn't There
Iran's Ashgar Farhadi, whose 'The Salesman' won best foreign film, boycotted the show
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2017 11:48 PM CST
Director Ashgar Farhadi (center) had something to say at the Oscars, via a statement.   (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

(Newser) Everyone predicted politics would take center stage at this year's Oscars, and those prognostications proved accurate. Some of the more notable moments of the night:

  • Before the red carpet was populated, Mike Huckabee kicked off the snark, USA Today reports. "Watch celebs spew ignorant political venom at Oscars?? Nah...think I'd rather have a colonoscopy. Both happen from same location," the ex-Arkansas governor tweeted Sunday afternoon.

  • Pro-Trump supporters from the San Fernando Valley for Trump group held an Oscars protest rally not far from the Dolby Theatre, per the Los Angeles Times. "Everyone likes to worship these celebrities as if they're some sort of deities," one of the dozen or so demonstrators said.
  • President Trump himself may have unwittingly sent viewers to the broadcast with an early morning tweet about a New York Times ad set to air during the show, per the Los Angeles Times. "For first time the failing @nytimes will take an ad (a bad one) to help save its failing reputation. Try reporting accurately & fairly!" the president tweeted.
  • Jimmy Kimmel got his own political digs in, per Mediaite, including noting that the show was "being watched live by millions of Americans and around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us." He offered a thanks to President Trump—"Remember last year when people thought the Oscars were racist?"—but also put out an earnest entreaty for viewers to reach out to those we disagree with to "make America great again."
  • Alessandro Bertolazzi, who won best makeup for Suicide Squad, said his award was "for all the immigrants," per Entertainment Weekly, while Ezra Edelman, who won for his documentary OJ: Made in America, said he was glad to accept the Oscar not only for Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, but also for "victims of police violence, police brutality, racially motivated violence, and criminal injustice," EW notes.
  • At the end of Sting's performance of "The Empty Chair," nominated for best song in Jim: The James Foley Story, a quote appeared on the screen behind the singer that read: "If I don't have the moral courage to challenge authority … we don't have journalism."
  • Mozart in the Jungle's Gael Garcia Bernal noted before announcing the best animated feature film award that "as a Mexican, as a Latin-American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I am against any form of wall that wants to separate us."
  • The biggest political moment of the night was during a statement from Iran's Ashgar Farhadi, who directed The Salesman, winner of best foreign language film—and who didn't show up. "My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US," he said in his message, which was read aloud. "Dividing the world into the 'us' and 'our enemies' categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war."

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