On Oscars night, Hollywood stars show solidarity #WithRefugees
On Sunday night, as the eyes of the world turned to Los Angeles and the 2022 Oscars ceremony, the issue of global forced displacement was also firmly in the spotlight.
Five of this year’s Oscar nominated films spoke to themes of displacement, loss, home, and belonging. Between them, Dune, Flee, Encanto, Three Songs for Benazir and Belfast tackled issues directly related to what it means to be a refugee. UNHCR also received support from Participant and Netflix to promote the message of global displacement powerfully expressed in their films Flee and Three Songs for Benazir.
Against this backdrop, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, worked closely with artists and publicists to help shine a light on the humanitarian emergency in Ukraine and other refugee crises worldwide. Online and in person, some of the world’s most famous faces used this year’s Oscars ceremony as an opportunity to stand in solidarity with refugees around the globe.
Ahead of the ceremony, UNHCR highlighted the stories of displacement and strength of human spirit conveyed in many of the nominated films across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The subsequent outpouring of solidarity with refugees was amplified by supporters including Hans Zimmer, Jake Gyllenhaal and our Goodwill Ambassadors.
On the night itself, many of Hollywood’s biggest stars wore blue #WithRefugees ribbons produced and distributed by UNHCR and its national partner USA for UNHCR. They included Jamie Lee Curtis, Diane Warren, Yuh-Jung Youn, Alberto Iglesias, Samuel L Jackson, Pedro Almodovar, Paolo Sorrentino, Guillermo Del Toro, Nicholas Britell, Luisa Ranieri, Daniela D'Antonio, Filippo Scotti, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz.
Speaking to reporters on the red carpet, US actress Jamie Lee Curtis explained her decision to wear the ribbon. “I just want to represent the refugee crisis and let people wake up and realize that this is a humanitarian crisis. The refugee crisis is very real,” she said.
“The displaced people are very real and they need help, they need homes and they need support,” she added. “The Oscar-nominated films Flee and Encanto are about displaced people, so it’s important.”
"The refugee crisis is very real." – Jamie Lee Curtis
Later in the evening, South Korean actress and previous Oscar winner Yuh-Jung Youn presented the award for best supporting actor – signing the name of the winner Troy Kotsur – her ribbon proudly on display to the one billion audience who tuned in to watch the event.
Before the war in Ukraine, there were already over 82 million people forcibly displaced globally. Through the themes highlighted in the five nominated films, incredible online engagement and strong in-person support of the Oscars stars, the biggest night in entertainment helped to shine a light on the humanitarian emergencies unfolding in Ukraine and beyond, and all those standing #WithRefugees.