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Why were people wearing blue ribbons to the 2023 Oscars?

Cate Blanchett among Hollywood stars adding ribbons to their outfits for Hollywood’s biggest night

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 13 March 2023 06:04 GMT
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Stars walk red carpet for 2023 Oscars

Cate Blanchett made a statement of solidarity with refugees on the Oscars champagne-coloured carpet as she added a blue ribbon to her outfit on Hollywood’s biggest night.

The Australian star, nominated for Best Actress for her role in Tár, wore the ribbon over a turquoise and black custom-made Louis Vuitton gown in support of the UN Refugee Agency.

“What I love about film is the way it draws us into compelling human themes to uncover the connective tissue that binds us all,” she said in a statement.

“Whenever I have met refugees — in places such as Lebanon, Jordan or Bangladesh, in the UK, or back home in Australia — what has struck me has not been their ‘otherness’ but how many things we share in common.”

Blanchett was joined by stars including Bill Nighy, who is nominated for his first Oscar for his performance in Living, Edward Berger, director of All Quiet On The Western Front, and Filipino actress Dolly De Leon, who starred in 2022 film Triangle Of Sadness.

Each ribbon was handcrafted by a team at the Knotty Tie Co., a company in Denver, Colorado, that supports resettled refugees with jobs, training and education.

English actor Bill Nighy attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 12, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

“The wearing of the blue #WithRefugees ribbon on the red carpet sends a powerful visual message that everyone has the right to seek safety – whoever, wherever, whenever they are,” wrote the UNHCR in a statement.

Blanchett has previously won two Oscars from seven nominations.

The ribbons were also visible at the BAFTAs, where Colin Farrell, Daryl McCormack and Paul Mescal, among others wore them.

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