The Best Moments and Blunders of the 2017 Oscars

The Best Moments and Blunders of the 2017 Oscars

The Best Moments and Blunders of the 2017 Oscars

From political statements to historic firsts, the biggest night in film left plenty to talk about.

From political statements to historic firsts, the biggest night in film left plenty to talk about.

Text: Ndey Buri

The 89th annual Academy Awards honored Hollywood's film elite and distinguished honorees. The night was filled with groundbreaking moments, surprises, political statements and, ahem, mishaps.

This year's awards ceremony was notably historical, following last year's #OscarsSoWhite undertone, as this year was the first time in Oscar history that black actors were nominated in every acting category. Recap these, and other show-stopping moments, below.

Actors Show Their Support For ACLU

The popular accessory celebrities adorned last night came in the shape of a blue, ACLU ribbon. Stars like actress Ruth Negga, actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, and model Karlie Kloss wore the pin in support of the American Civil Liberties Union, which works to defend and preserve the rights of all individuals in the United States in the courts, legislatures, and communities. Negga's support of the organization is especially unique as she portrayed Mildred Loving in Loving, the story of an interracial couple's fight for marriage equality in 1967 (a case that the ACLU supported).

Host, Jimmy Kimmel's Opening Remarks

Host, Jimmy Kimmel delivered his opening speech in typical comedian fashion, but was sure to insert political anecdotes that directly targeted Donald Trump and the country's current political climate. He said, “The country is divided right now. People have been telling me I need to say something to unite us. I’m not the man to unite this country,” the host then added, “There are millions and millions of people watching right now, and if every one of you took a minute to reach out to one person you disagree with and have a positive, considerate conversation – not as liberals or conservatives but as Americans – if we all did that it would make America great again. It starts with us.”

Moonlight's, Mahershala Ali Becomes First Muslim Actor To Win An Oscar

In what seems to be an incredible feat of unintentional history-making, Mahershala Ali took home the award for "Best Supporting Actor" for his performance in Moonlight. Though this accolade is important in and of itself, this win has a greater significance—especially in today's discriminative political environment, as Ali becomes the first Muslim actor to win an oscar. Ever.

"Best Foreign Language Film" Director, Asghar Farhadi's, Stand of Solidarity

Iran's Asghar Farhadi won the Oscar for "Best Foreign Language Film" for his movie, The Salesman, though respectfully declined to attend the awards ceremony in an act of solidarity with the people of Iran, and the other six countries affected by Donald Trump's "Muslim Ban". Instead, to accept the award was two leading Iranian-American engineers that gave a statement from the director that read, "My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of the other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US." The statement continued saying, "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." Earlier in the week, last Friday, all six of the director's nominated in the Foreign Language category released a joint statement decrying the climate of fanaticism and nationalism we see today in the U.S. and in so many other countries, in parts of the population and, most unfortunately of all, among leading politicians." Read the full statement here.

The "La La Land, No, It's Moonlight" Blunder

In what was the night's most shocking turn of events, the most anticipated announcement for "Best Picture" initially went to La La Land, only for producer Jordan Horowitz to announce to the crowd that Moonlight was the actual winner. "This is not a joke," he remarked, stunned. Moonlight director, Barry Jenkins, still graciously accepted the awards and thanked the cast of La La Land who were on stage saying, "I wasn't speechless because we won. I was speechless because it was so gracious of them to do that." Earlier in the night, Jenkins and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, gave a moving speech about inclusion in which Jenkins began in saying, "All you people out there who feel there’s no mirror for you, that your life is not reflected,” with McCraney adding, "The Academy has your back, the ACLU has your back, we have your back, and for the next four years we will not leave you alone, we will not forget you. This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls and non-gender-conforming, who don’t see themselves, we’re trying to show you, you and us. So thank you, thank you. This is for you."


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