Mahershala Ali is the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar—ever – Los Angeles Times

Mahershala Ali took home the first Oscar of the night, securing the best supporting actor trophy for his role as Juan in Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight.”

Ali is the first Muslim actor in history to win an Academy Award. He spoke movingly of his faith while accepting the SAG award for supporting actor for “Moonlight” last month.

“My grandma would want me to button up,” he said, after taking the stage, buttoning up his jacket. “I want to thank my teachers, my professors, my so many wonderful teachers.” He went on to talk about what they taught him and realizing that this moment wasn’t about him. “It’s not about you. It’s about these characters. You are a servant. You’re in service to these stories and these characters and I’m so blessed to have had an opportunity. It was about Juan, it was about Paula. Cast and crew, such a wonderful experience.”


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