2017 Oscars Had No Latino Winners, But Gael Garcia Bernal Made Sure They Had a Voice

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Justin Timberlake opened the 89th Academy Awards ceremony with a rousing performance of his Trolls nominated song, “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” And if that felt a bit too much like a Grammy performance (he showed off, yet again, why he’s one of the best live performers around) this year’s host, Jimmy Kimmel soon made it clear that we’d be in for a Hollywood-themed night. Taking digs at the current administration and singling out the “overrated” and “under-praised” actress known as Meryl Streep, he let everyone know that fans of his late-night show were in good hands.

At the end of the night, La La Land, which went in with a record-tying 14 nominations, came away the big winner. Winning six awards early in the night, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway pronounced the Los Angeles musical the Best Picture of 2016. And while the producers were giddy thanking everyone, all of us watching witnessed perhaps the most jaw-dropping moment in Oscar history: they’d read the wrong envelope and Moonlight, the Miami-set triptych story about a young gay black boy had actually earned that award. It was as bizarre and disorienting and bittersweet as it sounds. Gotta feel bad for those La La Land producers who, Oscar in hand, had to be told what happened mid-way through their speeches. And while it’ll be a moment for the history books, the mix-up shouldn’t diminish the power of Barry Jenkins’ beautiful celebration of queer black masculinity, which also picked up two other awards (Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay).

That dizzying final moment capped off a night that was surprisingly subdued, with Kimmel mostly recycling bits from his late-night show for the Oscar crowd including yet another installment of “Mean Tweets.” As expected, politics was threaded throughout the telecast with winners and presenters making a point of highlighting the message of inclusion and diversity that movies depend on, even as Kimmel went out of his way to make fun of foreign-sounding names and used Sunny Pawar, the young Indian boy from Lion as a prop for a Lion King-inspired shtick. The night was filled with rousing speeches like those by Fences‘s Viola Davis, who brought everyone to tears talking about the stories she wishes to tell, and that of Moonlight‘s Tarell Alvin McCraney and Barry Jenkins, who dedicated their Adapted Screenplay award to gender black & brown, and non-conforming kids everywhere. And disappointingly (but not surprisingly), no Latinos took home awards this year.

Whether you stayed up and watched the (as always, too long) telecast or opted to just catch up with it the next day, we’ve compiled a list of highlights from Hollywood’s biggest night featuring some of your favorite Latin American and Latino stars. Check them out below.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Cries on the Red Carpet

Even before the show began, the Hamilton star, who brought his mother by his side, was already in tears. While talking with E!, Lin-Manuel Miranda was taken aback when Ryan Seacrest shared footage of the cast of Hamilton singing his Moana songs, including the Oscar-nominated “How Far I’ll Go.” Visibly moved, he couldn’t shake away the tears seeing the Hamilton fam cheering him on that way.

Mahershala Ali wins his Oscar for the Miami-set Moonlight

For playing the role of Juan, an Afro-Cuban drug dealer who ends up becoming a role model for a young gay black kid growing up in Liberty City in Miami, the House of Cards and Hidden Figures actor won the first statue of the night. In doing so, he also became the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award. Ever. “One thing my acting teachers taught me is: it’s not about you,” he said while receiving his Oscar, “You are a servant. You are in service to these characters, these stories.”

Lin-Manuel Performs a Prologue Rap for Moana

There was no way the Oscar producers were gonna pass up the opportunity to have Lin-Manuel Miranda perform at this year’s ceremony. There was only one catch: while he’d penned “How Fair I’ll Go,” it really made no sense for him to sing that glorious girl power anthem. Thankfully, Lin-Manuel wrote a rapping prologue to segue into Moana herself, Auli’i Cravahlo giving a beautiful rendition of the Oscar-nominated Disney song (and braving a rogue wave flag in the process). And while Miranda ultimately lost the Best Original Song category, he was clearly a favorite of all of those in attendance.

Jimmy Kimmel gave voice to those sentiments when he told Miranda’s mom that her is a national treasure. She responded like any Latina would.

Gael García Bernal Gets Political

Presenting the two animated categories alongside Hailee Steinfeld, (and cursing in Spanish while hitting the mic in the process), the Mozart in the Jungle and Neruda actor took the time to speak about the current situation in the United States covertly. He pointed out that actors are migrant workers who travel the world to tell stories. “As a Mexican, as a Latin American, as a migrant worker, as a human being,” he said, “I am against any form of wall that wants to separate us.”


Seth Rogen & Michael J. Fox Audition for Hamilton

The Neighbors actor joined Michael J. Fox to present the award for Best Editing. And because Rogen was pretty much fulfilling his childhood dreams by standing next to Marty McFly and the Delorean while wearing futuristic sneakers, he went ahead and tried to check off another item off his bucket list: singing Hamilton. Cue, a quick rendition of “The Schuyler Sisters.” Best part? The fact that Miranda (whom Kimmel later called “an American treasure”) was definitely enjoying seeing his Tony-winning music sung by none other than Marty McFly, who joined in on the action.

Salma Hayek Acts Her Heart Out While Presenting

There are actors who can do plenty with a mere eyebrow raise. Salma Hayek is one such actor. While presenting the award for Best Live Action Short and describing the nominees, she stared straight at the camera to highlight when she got to a line that said that these films teach us “when to challenge authority.” We all knew who she was talking to and about.

Viggo Mortensen Reps His Favorite Argentine Club Team

Viggo Mortensen spent part of his childhood in Argentina and consequently Spanish was his first language. And he really loves San Lorenzo. Read more about his fandom in this interview.

On the red carpet, in an interview before the ceremony Viggo showed his love for the soccer team and declared (in Spanish) “Vamos a ser campeones!”

Later that night, during the actual awards, when the camera cut to Viggo after announcing his name as a nominee for Best Actor, he flashed the team’s crest.