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Stars Show Support for ACLU, Remember Trayvon Martin Ahead of Oscars

Variety logo Variety 2/27/2017 Will Thorne

Many have predicted that the 2017 Oscars would be one of the most politically charged ceremonies in Academy Awards history, and the commentary kicked off before a single speech has been made.

As the first few stars stepped out onto the red carpet, it became immediately obvious that several had chosen to adorn their flowing dresses and smart tuxedos with a large blue ACLU ribbon.

Turns out the colorful accessory is part of the “Stand With ACLU” campaign, an initiative which, according to the organization, gives artists a chance “to express their support for the rights and civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution to everyone in the United States.”

Best supporting actress nominee Ruth Negga, who was one the first to appear on the carpet, drew attention to the aforementioned ribbon which she wore over her red Maison Valentino dress.

Next up to sport the ribbon on the red carpet were Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is also set to perform his best original song-nominated piece “How Far I’ll Go,” and his date for the evening, his mother Luz Towns-Miranda. The mother and son duo were joined in their support by American model Karlie Kloss who wore the ribbon on her hip over her white Stella McCartney dress, complete with shoulder cape. Busy Phillips also sported a blue ribbon over her deep emerald, velvet dress.

Best actor contender Casey Affleck wore the same ribbon at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, as well as a shirt with the word “love” written on it in Arabic.

In a statement, the ACLU called the ribbons “a symbol of solidarity.”

“(The ribbon) acknowledges the commitment of those on the front lines – in the courts, legislatures and in the streets – who are working to ensure that our precious freedoms and values are preserved,” the statement read.

Ava DuVernay, director of best documentary nominee “13th,” chose to make a political statement through clothing before she even left for the carpet. The “Selma” director tweeted a photo of herself with her eyes closed, holding a sweater with the name “Trayvon” emblazoned on it in reference to 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot dead by a police officer in Florida in 2012. Sunday marks the five-year anniversary of his death.

“On my way to #Oscars. Taking a moment to remember #TrayvonMartin. Our Hoodies are still up and the movement is still strong. #OurSonTrayvon,” DuVernay tweeted.

DuVernay also made a political statement with her red carpet gown, choosing to wear a dress from Ashi Studio, a Lebanon-based fashion house.

“A small sign of solidarity. I chose to wear a gown by a designer from a majority Muslim country. Thanks to Ashi Studio of Lebanon. #Oscars,” she tweeted.

Earlier in the day, “Scandal” actress Kerry Washington and “Blackish” star Tracee Ellis Ross also took to twitter to express their solidarity in remembrance of Trayvon Martin’s death.

“5 years later our hoodies are still up because the movement is still strong! #OurSonTrayvon,” Washington tweeted, while Ross released a similar message saying, “5 yrs ago 2day #TrayvonMartin was killed. 5 yrs later our hoodies r still up bc the movement is still strong #OurSonTrayvon.”

Legendary actor Jackie Chan got in on the political act by bringing along two miniature stuffed pandas as his red carpet dates. The adorable cuddly toys were dressed in yellow jackets and silver boots with UNICEF name-tags, but the designer of their colorful outfits remains a mystery.

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