Saturday 18 November 2017

Five Trump talking points from the Oscars: Host tweets US President during ceremony as actors protest

Jimmy Kimmel hosts the Oscars. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Jimmy Kimmel hosts the Oscars. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

There were a number of talking points from the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday - with many of them revolving around US President Donald Trump.

Last week, his press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump would not be watching the 2017 Oscars.

"Hollywood is known for being rather far to the left in its opinions," he said.

In recent years Trump has described the Oscars as "bulls**t" and "terrible" and was highly critical of Meryl Streep and her speech at this year's Golden Globes.

Here are five of the main talking points from the ceremony.

1. Jimmy Kimmel's scathing attack

Jimmy Kimmel thanks President Donald Trump for making the Oscars appear less racist as he opened the 89th Academy Awards.

The talk show host said he knew the country was divided and he had been encouraged to say something that would unite people.

Actress Ruth Negga attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards Photo: Getty
Actress Ruth Negga attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards Photo: Getty

Opening the show, he said the ceremony was being watched around the world by "countries that now hate us".

"The country is divided right now, I've been been getting advice that I need to say something to unite us.

"Let me say something. I can't do that. There is only one Braveheart in this room and he's not going to do that either," he said in a dig at Mel Gibson.

He made the audience give Meryl Streep a standing ovation. He said the actress was "over-rated" echoing the president's appaisal of her following Streep's anti-Trump speech at the Golden Globes.

"I want to say thank you to President Trump. Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? It's gone!" he quipped.

He then referenced the exclusion from a White House press briefing of certain news organisations on Friday. He asked anyone from CNN, New York Times or any publication with the word “times” in to leave the building.

2. Kimmel's Trump tweets

Jimmy Kimmel continued the anti-Trump theme by tweeting the US President from the stage.

He said: "We are more than two hours into the show and Donald Trump hasn’t tweeted at us once. I’m starting to get worried about him".

He then tweeted the president, saying "Hey @therealdonaldtrump u up?" and "#merylsayhi".

3. Red Carpet protests

A number of Oscar-nominees threw their support behind the organisation who first challenged President Donald Trump's travel ban by wearing blue ribbons to the ceremony.

Irish-Ethiopian star Ruth Negga, who is up for best actress for her role in Loving, was first on the red carpet and sported the political accessory on her red Valentino dress.

The blue bow represents the American Civil Liberties Union and is part of their new initiative titled Stand With ACLU.

Negga was followed by the Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and his mother who both wore the pin. Miranda is nominated for writing music and lyrics for How Far I'll Go from animated movie Moana.

Director of best film nominee Moonlight, Barry Jenkins, was also spotted with the blue bow pinned to his suit.

The ACLU was among the first to launch a legal challenge following President Trump's travel ban, which bars people from seven Muslim-majority countries entering America.

While the travel ban has been blocked by the courts, a revamped refugee and immigration executive order is expected to be released by the White House next week.

4. The Salesman Trump Protest

The Salesman won the foreign language  film Oscar, allowing director  Asghar Farhadi to attack President Donald Trump's "inhuman" travel ban.

The filmmaker boycotted the ceremony because of Mr Trump's executive order that banned travel to the US from seven Muslim countries.

Iranian astronaut Anousheh Ansari accepted the award on behalf of director Asghar Farhadi. She read the following statement from Farhadi: "I'm sorry I'm not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S."

5. London Trump protest

Thousands of people braved London's winter drizzle earlier on Sunday for a screening of the Oscar-nominated movie that has become a rallying point for opponents of US President Donald Trump's immigration policy.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan made clear his political motivation in hosting the British premiere of the "The Salesman", whose Iranian director is boycotting the Hollywood ceremony.

"President Trump cannot silence me," Khan said to cheers from the crowd gathered in Trafalgar Square. "We stand in solidarity with Asghar Farhadi, one of the world's greatest directors."

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