First-time nominee Mahershala Ali becomes the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar with his award for best supporting actor for Moonlight. In his acceptance speech Ali, who played a Miami drug dealer who mentors a young boy who is being teased and bullied in the film, thanks his teachers, colleagues and his wife, who had given birth to their daughter just four days earlier.
“I want to thank her for being such a soldier through this process, and carrying me through it all,” he said, in an elegant kickoff to the night.
Ali is the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, a particularly notable achievement in 2017, when the White House has placed travel restrictions on individuals from several Muslim-majority nations. This win also makes Ali the fifth black actor to achieve a Supporting Actor Oscar.