While it may seem like a foreign legend, a unicorn of sorts, there indeed was a time in Hollywood when political grandstanding at the Oscars was not only booed, but discouraged from the stage itself.
During the 1970s, when Hollywood morphed from just being casually left to being full-blown social revolutionaries, there were more than a few celebrities who used their big wins on Oscar night to preach a political message or two.
It all began, of course, with none other than actor Marlon Brando, who used his Best Actor win for "The Godfather" as a platform to talk about the portrayal of Native Americans in film. To his credit, Brando at least had some panache to his protest as opposed to the SJW posers we see parading the Oscar stage every year. Rather than give a speech, Brando elected to eschew showing up and instead had Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather refuse the award on his behalf:
Compare the reaction of that Oscar audience — a mixture of boos, awkward silence, and lone applause — with the raging cheers actor Kumail Nanjiani received when he railed against the abundance of straight, white males on the silver screen.
Hollywood celebrities never learn, though, and later in that same decade, actress Vanessa Redgrave used her moment of winning Best Supporting Actress in the movie "Julia" to bash the country Israel and Jewish protesters upset over her documentary "The Palestinian," which pushed the terrorist organization "Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)." Prompting boos from the crowd, Redgrave called the doc's haters "Zionist hoodlums" while denouncing Nixon and McCarthy for leading a "witch hunt" against communists in the 1950s.
Not only did the crowd boo Redgrave, but later on in the evening, famed screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky took the stage to bash the actress for exploiting the moment.
“I would like to say — personal opinion, of course — that I am sick and tired of people exploiting the occasion of the Academy Awards for the propagation of their own personal political propaganda,” said Chayefsky.
The crowd cheered Chayefsky on as he continued, “I would like to suggest to Ms. Redgrave that her winning an Academy Award is not a pivotal moment in history, it does not require a proclamation, and a simple 'thank you' would’ve sufficed."
Even into the early 2000s, political grandstanding at the Oscars wasn't commonplace, and the few who did were not exactly welcomed with open arms. For instance, when Michael Moore won the Oscar for "Bowling for Columbine" in 2003, the crowd did not exactly leap to their feet in thunderous applause when he said "shame on you, Mr. Bush" regarding the Iraq War.
Also, later in the night, then-host Steve Martin said this in response to Moore's childish rantings: "Right now, the Teamsters are helping Michael Moore into the trunk of his limo."
The crowd laughed then, too. Now, he'd be hectored off the stage. Gone are the days.