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Oscar expected to brace for more political speeches

2017-February-27       Source: Xinhuanet.com

The countdown has started for the final grand ceremony of this Hollywood's awards season in the era of new U.S. President Donald Trump.

The countdown has started for the final grand ceremony of this Hollywood's awards season in the era of new U.S. President Donald Trump.

The 89th Academy Awards, which is to be presented on Sunday, will attract millions of audience worldwide. Given the tone set by Hollywood stars at the previous shows, speeches against Trump were widely expected, while Trump's supports were also ready to defend their leader.

During the presidential campaign last year, the Democratic-leaning Hollywood tried its best to help Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Many celebrities, including Madonna, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears, have campaigned for Clinton.

After Trump's winning of the election, Hollywood's anti-Trump sentiments have not quieted down. Meryl Streep, a three-time Oscar winner, rebuked the new president while giving a lifetime achievement acceptance speech at the Golden Globe awards in January.

"Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose," the veteran actress said.

Trump fought back the next day on Twitter by calling Streep "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood."

On Jan. 29, days after Trump's inauguration, some winners of the 23rd Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards criticized Trump's executive orders regarding immigration, climate change and other issues, at the award ceremony in Los Angeles.

"We're in a really tricky time in our country, and things are very inexcusable and scary and need action," said Emma Stone, who won the best leading actress award at the SAG for her performance in "La La Land".

As both Streep and Stone were Oscar nominees this year, some daring speeches might be expected at the award ceremony.

Soon after taking office, Trump issued an executive order temporarily banning all entry to the United States from seven Muslim-majority nations. The order, which was blocked by an appeals court later, has sparked protest at home and abroad.

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose film "The Salesman" has been nominated for the best foreign-language film, said last month that he would not travel to Los Angeles to represent the film because of Trump's ban, even if he was exempted.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences, said that barriers to artistic freedom have "made Academy artists activists."

Jimmy Kimmel, who will preside over the Oscar this year, pointed out that some of the best Oscar speeches were political, while sometimes they were just annoying. "I think it depends on what's said, and who's saying it," the Hollywood Comedian told USA Today.

Although the White House has already said that Trump will likely be too busy to watch the Oscar ceremony, there's still a chance that the former producer and host of a popular reality show will have some sort of reaction to it.

The Hollywood Reporter has found out that Trump tweeted many times about the Oscars since 2012, with very strong opinions. He called the 2014 Oscars "terrible", tweeting "Was President Obama in charge of this years Academy Awards?""I should host the Oscars just to shake things up."

Meanwhile, Trump also has supporters among Hollywood celebrities. Clint Eastwood, the 86-year-old four-time Oscar winner, was one of them. "He (Trump) is onto something because secretly everybody's getting tired of political correctness," the actor said.

Many audiences also showed their loyalty to the new U.S. leader. Members of the Association of Mature American Citizens, a group that represents conservative seniors, even threatened a theater boycott if the Oscars "turn into a Trump bashing affair."

"The Oscars are an international show," Richard Anderson, an Oscar winner and member of the Academy, told Xinhua, "it is supposed to be about art."

Editor: Will

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