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Mothers, ACLU ribbons and ‘Hidden Fences’ all make the red carpet memorable

Janelle+Monae+arrives+at+the+89th+Academy+Awards+on+Sunday%2C+Feb.+26%2C+2017%2C+at+the+Dolby+Theatre+at+Hollywood+%26amp%3B+Highland+Center+in+Hollywood.+%28Jay+L.+Clendenin%2FLos+Angeles+Times%2FTNS%29
Janelle Monae arrives at the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Janelle Monae arrives at the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

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Janelle Monae arrives at the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

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LOS ANGELES — Before the Academy Awards were handed out Sunday, the red carpet reflected everything from politics to diversity to who makes the perfect awards show date:

4:15 p.m.: Academy Award attendees on Sunday made activism a must-have red-carpet accessory.

Blue ribbons affixed to formal attire worn by model Karlie Kloss, original song nominee Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Loving” nominee Ruth Negga and “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins represented the American Civil Liberties Union’s new “Stand With ACLU” initiative.

“I’m wearing an ACLU ribbon because they’re fighting incredible fights right now for American ideals,” Miranda said.

4:32 p.m.: Jess Cagle, editorial director of People and Entertainment Weekly, was discussing Hollywood diversity on the red carpet when he became the latest person to accidentally mash up “Hidden Figures” and “Fences” into a singular entity, “Hidden Fences,” which definitely does not exist.

“Hidden Figures” is about three African-American women mathematicians working for NASA in the 1960s and stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae. “Fences” is a film adaptation of the 1983 August Wilson play of the same name and stars Viola Davis and Denzel Washington as a couple struggling through their lives in 1950s Pittsburgh.

“Hidden Fences” is an embarrassing mistake that will earn you the rightful scorn of the Internet for no less than 12 minutes.

4:46 p.m.: The Oscars were a family affair this year. The go-to date for a few first-time nominees came in the maternal variety.

Like Leonardo DiCaprio and Bradley Cooper before them, “Manchester by the Sea” supporting actor nominee Lucas Hedges got a sweetly embarrassing smooch from his mother, poet and actress Susan Titman, for all to see. “Moana” original song nominee Lin-Manual Miranda was accompanied by his mother, Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda, and “Lion” supporting actor nominee Dev Patel was joined by his mom, Anita Patel.

4:47 p.m.: Roger Ross Williams, director of Oscar-nominated documentary “Life, Animated,” talked on the red carpet about the importance of diversity: “Film has to reflect the real world,” Williams said. “In this political climate, where diversity and difference is looked down upon by the administration, by the president, it’s important we have a voice.”

Williams is also one of three documentary branch governors in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He plans to use his power to promote more diversity.

“I think it’s time for Hollywood, it’s time for the academy to step up and fill that gap. It’s not coming from the White House, it’s not coming from Washington, it has to come from us,” Williams said.

5 p.m.: Sony Pictures Classics executive Tom Bernard didn’t shy away from the subject of the foreign-language film race, in which Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman” won, eclipsing Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann.”

German submission “Erdmann” appeared to be coasting to a win when Farhadi, who is Iranian, said he would be boycotting the Oscars to protest President Donald Trump’s travel ban. That turned the tide for the director, leading to coverage that didn’t sit well with Sony Pictures Classics.

“It’s fake news that will give Asghar the Oscar,” Bernard told the Los Angeles Times as he walked in to the Dolby Theatre. And he was right. “The media has made the foreign race about a vote against Trump and not about the films.”

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times

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Mothers, ACLU ribbons and ‘Hidden Fences’ all make the red carpet memorable