It was a night full of surprises, but slap and statuettes aside, there was time to honour the people of Ukraine.
Every year, Oscars guests often use their platform and reach to get political, and this year is no exception. Celebrities used the occasion to express sympathy with the people of Ukraine who have been displaced and are seeking refuge as a result of Russia’s invasion of the Eastern European country.
Celebrities have been seen sporting blue and yellow Ukraine flag pins and pocket squares, as well as blue looped ribbons that have been distributed by the UN Refugee Agency, with the phrase #withrefugees on the side.
Anadil Hossain, the UNHCR’s Principal Communications Advisor, collaborated with Social Impact Strategist Bonnie Abaunza to develop the initiative.
Hossain said, “This notes that this year’s Oscar-nominated films include some powerful stories centred on the themes of refugees, displacement, home and belonging — Encanto, Flee, Three Songs for Benazir, Belfast, and Dune — at a time when the world is witnessing the largest refugee crisis since WW2.”
Hossain also added that: “While the ribbons are a symbolic visible gesture, we saw this an opportunity to message around a wider understanding and awareness of this global humanitarian crisis – as the nominated films this year have done with great imagination and empathy.”
Read on for the stars that paid tribute to Ukraine at the 2022 Oscars ceremony.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis, who was dressed in a long sparkly midnight-blue gown, carried her blue ribbon on the red carpet by hand to call attention to the words and express solidarity.
Nominated songwriter Diane Warren wore the blue ribbon and a heart-shaped gold pin on her lapel.
Pachinko‘s Yuh-jung Youn also wore the blue ribbon proudly pinned to her button-down Oscar look.
Samuel L. Jackson
Also among those who wore the blue ribbon at the ceremony was actor Samuel L. Jackson, who received an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement at the Governors Awards on Friday.
Nicholas Britell, nominated for his Don’t Look Up score, also wore a blue ribbon in support of Ukraine.
Paolo Sorrentino and the cast of The Hand of God
Director of The Hand of God, Paolo Sorrentino, and the cast of the film all chose to wear the blue ribbon to support Ukraine on Sunday.
Producer-director-actor Tyler Perry, who received the Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 2021, marked his presence on the red carpet by wearing a Ukrainian flag ribbon.
Francis Ford Coppola
The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola wore a Ukrainian flag pin to show his support.
Marking the film’s anniversary, Coppola concluded his speech, in which he paid tribute to two of his collaborators on the iconic crime drama about the Corleone mafia family, by saying “Viva Ukraine!” as the trio left the stage.
Jason Momoa chose to use a pocket square with the Ukrainian flag colours peeping through his black on black suit.
Like others, Benedict Cumberbatch, too, showed support for Ukraine. He sported the Ukrainian flag colours, in a pin on his suit jacket, after he shared a poignant message for the country while receiving his Hollywood Walk of Fame star a few weeks ago.
Actress Mila Kunis, who was born in Ukraine, referenced the crisis as she announced singer Reba McEntire to the stage. The 38-year-old star said: “Recent global events have left us feeling gutted yet when you witness the strength and dignity of those facing such devastation it’s impossible not to be moved by their resilience.
“One cannot help but be in awe of those who find strength to keep fighting through unimaginable darkness.”
Along with her actor husband Ashton Kutcher, Kunis has raised around $35 million (£26.5m) after setting up a fund to support refugees. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has personally thanked the pair for their efforts.
During the ceremony, the attendees observed a moment of silence to “show support for the people of Ukraine currently facing invasion, conflict and prejudice within their own borders,” per a statement shown during the broadcast.
“While film is an important avenue for us to express our humanity in times of conflict, the reality is millions of families in Ukraine need food, medical care, clean water, and emergency services. Resources are scarce, and we—collectively and as a global community—can do more,” the statement reads.
“We ask you to support Ukraine in any way you are able. #StandWithUkraine,” it concluded.
In light of the humanitarian crisis currently ongoing in Ukraine, please check here for ways that you can help as a foreigner.
And for the Oscars 2022 winners list, see here.