The Political Topic That Made Its Way Onstage

Maya Rudolph, Javier Bardem, chef Jose Andres mentioned walls, immigrants
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2019 9:35 PM CST

(Newser) – Politics wasn't a high priority at the Oscars Sunday night, but one particular topic appeared to be broached more than once: the proposed border wall with Mexico. Comedian Maya Rudolph first touched on it in the opening monologue she did with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, informing the audience, "Just a quick update, in case you're confused, there is no host tonight, no popular Oscar category and Mexico is not paying for the wall," per the The Hollywood Reporter. Actor Javier Bardem then cited the wall—or, rather, walls in general—as he presented the award for best foreign language film with Angela Bassett.

"Tonight we celebrate the excellence and importance of the cultures and languages of different countries," he said, per the Hill. "There are no borders or walls that can restrain ingenuity and talent." Meanwhile, in an intro for Roma, one of the nominees for best picture, chef Jose Andres didn't reference the wall directly, but instead simply said, per THR: "This beautiful, intimate film, one that 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." (Read more Oscars stories.)

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