The Academy Awards is a much viewed event of Hollywood and this year, President Donald Trump will likely be the most talked about individual on the stage. This is because many of the glittering stars are critical of the way he is treating people and a section of the stars want to give vent to their emotions on the stage and let off steam.

Their statements are expected to be political in nature and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has indicated that she would not object to stars who make political statements from the Oscars stage because she believes in freedom of speech.

She went on to say that she would not deny the Oscar winners a brief 45 seconds of having their say on something that would be both meaningful and touching.

Groundwork is done

Meryl Streep had set the ball rolling with her condemnation of President Donald Trump at the Golden Globes and he was quick to respond saying that she was overrated. Then there was Jodie Foster – she came on stage in front of 1,200-strong crowd in Beverly Hills in a fundraising rally for the American Civil Liberties Union. The rally was held by a Hollywood talent agency in lieu of the customary pre-Oscars party.

In the opinion of Brian McLaughlin, a film producer and instructor at the LA film school, the stars have given their audience loads of entertainment and, in exchange, they can expect to get a few seconds to speak up on an important issue – it would give a boost to democracy.

However, there are some Oscar nominees who have other ideas. They do not want to indulge in criticism because they feel it is not right for stars to make political statements. One of them is British-American star Andrew Garfield nominated in the category of best actor for his performance in Hacksaw Ridge. He admits that the voice of a celebrity may be more meaningful but adds that they should refrain from making political statements.

Political protest at the Oscars

In case political statements are made on the stage at this year’s Oscars, it would not be a first. It happened in 1973 when Marlon Brando boycotted his award for The Godfather to protest against the treatment of Native Americans by Hollywood. Later, in 2003, director Michael Moore was booed off stage because he had criticized the then President George W Bush. Who knows - this year’s Oscars could be all about Donald Trump and the stars of Hollywood.