February 27, 2017 / 8:12 AM / in 8 months

Trump policies play supporting role in 2017 Oscars

Jimmy Kimmel host. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Donald Trump’s name was rarely mentioned during Sunday’s Academy Awards, but the U.S. president’s policies were a running subtext throughout the evening.

Host Jimmy Kimmel fired the first shot in his opening monologue.

“I want to say thank you to President Trump. Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist?” Kimmel quipped.

Again and again, he mocked the president’s Twitter put-down of Meryl Streep in January, when Trump called her “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood.”

“Meryl Streep has phoned it in for more than 50 films over the course of her lackluster career,” said Kimmel. “Please join me in giving Meryl Streep a totally undeserved round of applause.”

Several acceptance speeches celebrated the film industry’s internationalism, and the threat that Trump’s policies pose.

Alessandro Bertolazzi, one of the makeup and hairstyle winners for the film “Suicide Squad,” dedicated his award to “all the immigrants.”

Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian director of “The Salesman,” which won the Oscar for best foreign language film, had a stand-in read a statement explaining that he did not attend in protest of the president’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven mostly-Muslim nations.

”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 U.S.,” he said.

Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, who presented the Oscar for best animated film, decried Trump’s plan for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

“As a Mexican, as a Latin American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I‘m against any form of wall that wants to separate us,” he said.

Kimmel kept the barbs coming, poking fun at one of Trump’s cabinet picks, Ben Carson.

“Doctor Strange was nominated for outstanding visual effects and was also named secretary of housing and urban development,” he said.

And he warned award recipients that speaking their minds might have consequences.

“Some of you will get to come up here on this stage tonight and give a speech that the president of the United States will tweet about in all caps during his 5 a.m. bowel movement tomorrow,” Kimmel said.

Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis and Steve Gorman; Editing by Sue Horton and Mary Milliken

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