Meet the First Muslim Actor to Ever Win An Oscar
Not only did Moonlight win the Best Picture award, in an embarrassing moment that would even make Steve Harvey cringe, but the movie has something else to be proud of. The Academy Awards got its first ever Muslim winner on Sunday night. The LA ceremony saw Mahershala Ali take to the stage to collect the award for Best Supporting Actor, fighting off competition from the likes of Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals), Dev Patel (Lion), Lucas hedges (Manchester By the Sea) and Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water).
Mahershala plays a drug dealer in the motion picture which also stars Bond Girl Naomie Harris, and collected the gong from 2016's Best Supporting Actress, Alicia Vikander. The 43-year-old star – who welcomed a baby a last week – had much to celebrate at the Oscars as he also appears in Best Picture nominee, Hidden Figures.
He recently revealed to Radio Times that his wife stopped wearing a headscarf in New York because she'd had many bad experiences, adding about his own difficulties: "If you convert to Islam after a couple of decades of being a black man in the US, the discrimination you receive as a Muslim doesn't feel like a shock. I've been pulled over, asked where my gun is, asked if I'm a pimp, had my car pulled apart. Muslims will feel like there's this new discrimination that they hadn't received before – but it's not new for us."