From winners to presenters to host Jimmy Kimmel, there were plenty of political moments at the 89th Academy Awards

By Karen Mizoguchi
February 26, 2017 11:17 PM
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As much as the 89th annual Academy Awards were about the celebrities and the fashion, it was also about politics.

From winners to presenters to host Jimmy Kimmel, there were plenty of President Donald Trump-centric moments — and many happened without even saying his name. The broadcast hit on controversial topics including the immigration ban executive order, fake news and a member of Trump’s cabinet.

Here are the most noteworthy political moments from Sunday’s show:

“I’m against any form of wall that wants to separate us”

Before announcing Zootopia as the winner in its category, actor Gael Garcia Bernal had a message to share to the star-studded audience. “Flesh and blood actors are migrant workers. We travel all over the world. We build families, we construct stories, we build life but cannot be divided. 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.

Warren Beatty also made a made a subtle political statement before he and Faye Dunaway erroneously presented the Best Picture award to La La Land before real winner Moonlight.

“I think that it could be said that our goal in politics is the same as our goal in art, and that’s to get to the truth. So, that’s like in the movies that we honor tonight that not only entertain us and move us. They show us the increasing diversity in our community and a respect for diversity and freedom all over the world,” he said.

jimmy-kimmel
Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

And the winner for most Trump mentions is … Kimmel!

The host did not hold back as he took aim at the president, who previously tweeted that he will be hosting a lavish governors’ dinner at the time of the Oscars.

“This broadcast is being watched live by millions of Americans and around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us,” Kimmel said in his opening monologue.

“I’m not the man to unite this country, but it can be done. You know, if every person watching this show — I don’t want to get too serious — but there are millions and millions of people watching right now. And if every one of you took a minute to reach out to one person you disagree with, someone you like and have a positive considerate conversation, not as liberals or conservatives , as Americans. If we would all do that, we could make America great again. It starts with us,” he said (before pretending to bury the hatchet with fremeny Matt Damon).

Next, before introducing presenters Kate McKinnon and Jason Bateman to read the winners for the costume/makeup and hairstyling categories, Kimmel poked fun at the “fake news” by mentioning The New York Times and Los Angeles Times: “If you work for anything with the word Times in it, I ask you to leave,” he said, in a cunning reference to media publications being barred from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s recent off-camera briefing.

And there was that Doctor Strange shout-out for Dr. Ben Carson. “Doctor Strange was nominated for special effects — and also Secretary of Housing and Urban Development,” Kimmel quipped in a segue.

Before welcoming Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs on stage, the Jimmy Kimmel Live emcee juxtaposed her to Trump, saying she was “a president who believes in art and sciences.”

Later in the show, Kimmel hilariously tweeted at the president live on air.

Toward the end of the show, after La La Land’s Linus Sandgren finished his acceptance speech for Best Cinematography, Kimmel told the Swedish native: “We’re so sorry about what happened in Sweden last week.”

Check out PEOPLE’s full 2017 Academy Awards coverage and complete winners list!

Kevin Winter/Getty;Steve Granitz/WireImage
Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty;Steve Granitz/WireImage

Acceptance speeches

Suicide Squad‘s Alessandro Bertolazzi, who won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, said: “I’m an immigrant from Italy, this is for the immigrants.”

O.J.: Made in America Documentary Feature winner Ezra Edelman noted: “Ron Goldman, Nicole Brown, this is for them and their families. It is also for others, the victims of police violence, police brutality, racially motivated violence and criminal injustice. I am honored to accept this award on all of their behalf.”

The Salesman picked up the award for Best Foreign Language Film,and as promised director Asghar Farhadi was not present to accept it. Instead, he sent Iranian American engineer Anousheh Ansari to accept it in his place, and she read a statement on behalf of the director:

“I will be reading a statement by Mr. Farhadi. It’s a great honor to be receiving this valuable award for the second time. I would like to thank the members of the Academy, my crew in Iran, my producer Alexandre Malagri, Cohen Media, Amazon and my fellow nominees for the foreign film category. I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for people of my country and those of other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US. Dividing the world, thank you, diving the world into the us and the enemy categories creates fear. A deceitful justification for regression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries in which have themselves have been victims of aggression. Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others. An empathy we need today more than ever. And break stereotypes and religions. They create empathy between us and others. An empathy we need today more than ever.”

Watch the PEOPLE & EW Red Carpet Live Oscars pre-show on Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the app on your favorite device. Then watch our Red Carpet Fashion Wrap-Up after the Oscars!

Zootopia‘s co-director Rich Moore said while accepting the trophy for Best Animated Feature Film: “We are so grateful to the audiences all over the world who embraced this film, with this story, of tolerance, being more powerful than fear of the other.”

Best Documentary Short Subject winners for The White Helmets, directors Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara, made an impassioned speech for Syrian refugees.

“We are so grateful that this film has highlighted our work to the world. Our organization is guided by a verse in the Qu’ran: To save one life is to save all of humanity. We have saved more than 82,000 civilian lives. I invite anyone here who hears me to work on the side of life to stop the bloodshed in Syria and around the world,” von Einsiedel said. “It’s very easy for these guys to feel they’re forgotten. This war has been going on for six years. If everyone could just stand up and remind them that we all care that this war ends as quickly as possible.”

Moonlight took home the Oscar for best adapted screenplay, and director Barry Jenkins and original playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney spotlighted the work of the ACLU, which was represented at the award ceremony courtesy of blue ribbons.

“I told my students that I teach sometimes be in love with the process, not the result but I really wanted this result because a bajillion people are watching. And all you people out there who feel like there’s no mirror for you, that your life is not reflected, the Academy has your back, the ACLU has your back, we have your back and over the next four years we will not leave you alone. We will not forget you,” McCraney said.

Stars also made political statements with their fashion

Emma Stone wore a Planned Parenthood pin on her Givenchy gown.

Stars including Ruth Negga and Lin-Manuel Miranda also wore blue ribbons on their outfits, in support of the ACLU.

The accessories are part of the civil rights organization’s latest initiative, “Stand with ACLU,” according to a statement from the organization obtained by PEOPLE.