An uplifting drama about African-American mathematicians who aided NASA’s 1960s space race, “Hidden Figures” was the surprise best-ensemble winner Sunday night at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium. With the Oscar front-runner “La La Land” not nominated in the category, most expected a contest between “Moonlight” or “Manchester by the Sea.”
“This story is about unity,” said Taraji P. Henson, who stars alongside Octavia Spencerand Janelle Monae in “Hidden Figures.” ”This story is about what happens when we put our differences aside and we come together as a human race. We win. Love wins. Every time.”
From the first remarks by presenter Ashton Kutcher, the ceremony was peppered with speeches that argued passionately for inclusion. In a very well dressed version of the demonstrations sparked nationwide over the weekend, most award winners spoke in some way — either through personal anecdote or a call to arms — against Trump’s halting of immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who added another honor for her performance on the political satire “Veep,” said she was the daughter of an immigrant who fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France.
“Because I love this country, I am horrified by its blemishes,” said Louis-Dreyfus. “And this immigrant ban is a blemish and it is un-American.”
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