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8 Ways Political Speech Infiltrated the Oscars This Year

Hollywood wore its politics on its tuxedo sleeves Sunday night.

8 Ways Political Speech Infiltrated the Oscars This Year
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With a country that can't stop talking about the president and his policies, it was no surprise that the Oscars got political Sunday. It wasn't nearly as vitriolic as it could have been, but it wasn't quiet either. Here are some of the highlights from the night's various achievements in political speech.

1. Jimmy Kimmel's Jokes

Jimmy Kimmel said of Trump before hosting: "Love ’em or hate ’em, he is Topic No. 1, 2 and 4." He followed through with some political jokes over the course of the evening, but never really dug his teeth in. Early on he quipped, "Fake tans we love, but fake news?!"

Later on, he trolled Trump's Twitter, by live-tweeting to the president, "u up?" followed by "#MerylSaysHi."

8 Ways Political Speech Infiltrated the Oscars This Year

2. The Absentee Winner

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The Salesman won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, but Iranian director Asghar Farhadi stayed home in protest — though at one point it was unclear whether he would be allowed in the United States due to Trump's travel restrictions.

While he wasn't there, astronaut Anousheh Ansari and former NASA scientist Firouz Naderi accepted the award on his behalf, and read his remarks:

"It’s a great honor to be receiving this valuable award for the second time. I would like to thank the members of the Academy, my crew in Iran, my producer, Amazon and my fellow nominees. I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of the other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhuman law that bans entry of immigrants to the US. Dividing the world into the US and enemy categories creates fear. A deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which have themselves been victims of aggression. Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others. An empathy which we need today more than ever."

3. The Commercials

Yes, even the commercials got political Sunday night. Cadillac did an ad that repurposed footage from recent protests while the New York Times ran an ad that drove home the importance of truthful reporting in the current political climate. But those weren't the only ads with something to say.

4. Gael Garcia Bernal Stands Up Against the Wall

Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal spoke out against Trump's proposed border wall while presenting the award for Best Animated Movie, saying, "As a Mexican, as a Latin-American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I am against any form of wall."

5. Barry Jenkins Has Your Back

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Moonlight screenwriters Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, and they had a message for anyone who feels marginalized by President Trump.

"All you people out there who feel like your life is not reflected, the Academy has your back, the ACLU has your back. For the next four years we will not leave you alone, we will not forget you."

Jenkins' cowriter, McCraney, who based Moonlight partly on his own life, added, "to all the black and brown boys and girls and non-gender-conforming individuals this is for you."

6. The White Helmets Wins

The White Helmets is a 40-minute documentary you can watch now on Netflix. It won the award for Best Documentary Short, and Director Orlando von Einsiedel accepted the Oscar and explained backstage that the film's cinematographer Khaled Khateeb, wasn't able to attend because of a problem with his visa. It was a direct illustration of the way changes in U.S. travel and immigration policies are impacting people's lives. The film's subject, Raed Saleh, chose not to attend, but he Von Einsiedel read a statement on his behalf explaining that, “Our organization is guided by a verse from the Koran: To save one life is to save all of humanity."

7. Even the Disney Movie Is Taking On Trump

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As expected, Disney's Zootopia won Best Animated Film, and co-director Rich Moore was very aware that the inclusive message of the movie is at odds with some of the president's politics.

“We are so grateful to the audiences all over the world that embraced this film with this story of tolerance being more powerful than fear of the other,”Moore said.

8. Pins & Ribbons

8 Ways Political Speech Infiltrated the Oscars This Year
Getty Images | Dakota Johnson's Instagram

Some of the night's political statements were easy to miss. Emma Stone and Dakota Johnson both wore small Planned Parenthood pins while Ruth Negga and Lin-Manuel Miranda both wore blue ribbons for the ACLU.

View Gael Garcia Bernal Pictures »