Hollywood Protests Travel Ban at the Oscars
The Oscars is a time for celebration, rewards, and acknowledgment of good work. The event includes many celebrities and people who work behind the scenes while millions of viewers tune-in and watch on their TV’s. And Oscar participants used the audience to make a political statement.
While some speeches glossed over the travel ban with jokes or somber statements, there were also some silent protests happening on the red carpet. If you watched the 2017 Oscars this week, then you may have noticed some red-carpet-walkers fashioning a small blue ribbon.
The blue ribbon is labeled with the letters “ACLU,” which stands for American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU is the first civil rights organization that successfully challenged Trump’s travel ban by pursuing a lawsuit that was taken to a New York federal court. US courts blocked the ban so far, but Trump’s administration plans to issue a new order.
The blue ribbon was pinned onto celebrity suits and dresses as a silent, and not-so-silent, protest. The pin protests Trump’s travel ban on immigrants from seven Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Director Ava DuVernay also made a small protest through her Oscars attire. DuVernay chose a dress created by a designer from a major Muslim country, Lebanon. You can see her Tweet about her dress below.
Asghar Farhadi is one Oscar-winner who chose to boycott the Oscars altogether. Farhadi is an Iranian director who won the award for Best Foreign Film for the film “Salesmen”; he sent two Iranian-American representatives to get his award in his place. Along with asking them to pick up his award in his place, we gave them an acceptance speech to read to the audience.
Farhadi’s speech 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.”
Meanwhile, Syrian cinematographer of “Salesmen” was blocked from attending the Oscars at Istanbul airport despite having a visa to enter the US.
Celebrities wore blue ribbons, clothes designed by brands from Muslim countries, or boycotted the Oscars. While the Oscars is a time to recognize the work people put into their film, it was also used as a platform for protests against recent political policies.