The first 2017 Oscar award of the night went to a Muslim.
Mahershala Ali secured the best supporting actor award for his exemplary performance as Juan in Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight.” In the film, Ali played a drug dealer who becomes a father figure to a young bullied boy named Chiron.
The 43-year-old actor snatched the trophy out from the hands of “A” list actors like Jeff Bridges, Dev Patel, Lucas Hedges and Michael Shannon. The actor has also won a Golden Globe, SAG Award and Critic’s Choice award for his supporting role in the film.
"My grandma would want me to button up," said the overwhelmed actor as he took to stage to accept his trophy. The actor then started his speech by thanking the people who played the most important role in his success — his teachers.
“It's not about you. It's about these characters. You are a servant. You're in service to these stories and these characters and I'm so blessed to have had an opportunity,” he said.
Ali is also the first Muslim ever to receive an acting Academy Award. The milestone comes after President Donald Trump implemented his executive ban, according to which Muslims from seven predominantly Islamic countries had their entry barred from the United States.
The Oscar winner did not mention the Muslim ban during his acceptance speech, but after he won the SAG awards earlier this year, he proudly proclaimed, “I am a Muslim.”
The Twitter-verse is ablaze with the actor’s achievements.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Mario Anzuoni