LOS ANGELES — They were small and subtle, but the blue ribbons worn by many celebrities at the Oscars have an important message of support for refugees.
A statement from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees notes that those who used the ribbons on Sunday did so to “send a powerful visual message that everyone has the right to seek safety, no matter who they are, where they are or when they do so. ”.
The cleats were made by the Knotty Tie Co., which the agency says provides employment, training and education to refugees resettled in the Denver area.
“In many of the films nominated at festivals and award ceremonies this season, the human themes of conflict, separation and loss are present,” the agency said in the statement, citing films like “Avatar: The Way of Water” (“ Avatar: The Water Path”) and “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”.
“Through effective storytelling, these films help eliminate discrimination and misunderstanding, bring new perspectives to life, and help spark conflict for people forced to migrate,” the statement continued.
The number of displaced people in the world totals 103 million, a figure increased by major factors such as Russia’s war in Ukraine, other conflicts and climate change.
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Best supporting actor winner Ke Huy Quan, who was born in Vietnam, referenced his own history as a refugee during his acceptance speech.
“My journey began on a ship. I spent a year in a refugee camp,” Quan said. “And somehow I ended up here on the biggest stage in Hollywood. They say that stories like this only happen in the movies. I can’t believe this is happening to me. This, THIS, is the American dream.”
Like other UN agencies, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has a long history of collaborating with celebrities. Angelina Jolie was his only special envoy for years, until they separated last year.
Actress nominee Cate Blanchett is a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric also singled out another goodwill ambassador from a different agency, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) when asked if she had a best picture favorite on Friday. On reflection he said: “No, but I hope UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Michelle Yeoh won the best actress category and we wish her all the best,” he said of the eventual winner.