Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani Make Appeal for ‘Dreamers’ at the Oscars

Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani Make Appeal for ‘Dreamers’ at the Oscars


Originally published by The New York Times

Before introducing the award for achievement in production design, Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani made one of the night’s most pointed political statements. The two introduced themselves as immigrants — Ms. Nyong’o was born in Mexico and raised in Kenya; Mr. Nanjiani is from Pakistan — and then made a not-so-subtle appeal on behalf of the so-called Dreamers, who are here under the policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Their future remains in limbo after President Trump ended the program last September.

Ms. Nyong’o and Mr. Nanjiani, without mentioning the politics of immigration directly, briefly spoke about dreams being the “foundation of Hollywood” and the United States. Mr. Nanjiani, who is nominated for best original screenplay for “The Big Sick,” closed by saying, “To all the dreamers out there, we stand with you.” Here’s what they said:

LUPITA NYONG’O: Good evening. We are the two actors you keep hearing about but whose names you have trouble pronouncing.

KUMAIL NANJIANI: Actually, I have to come clean. Kumail Nanjiani is my stage name. My actual given Pakistani name is Chris Pine. So you can imagine how annoyed I was when the other — when the white Chris Pine showed up. The “real” Chris Pine.

NYONG’O: We are also immigrants. I’m from Kenya.

NANJIANI: And I’m from — Kenya is in the house. And I am from Pakistan and Iowa. Two places that nobody in Hollywood can find on a map.

NYONG’O: And like everyone in this room, and everyone watching at home, we are dreamers. We grew up dreaming of one day working in movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood. And dreams are the foundation of America.

NANJIANI: And so — to all the dreamers out there, we stand with you. Now, the nominees for achievement in production design.

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