Mahershala Ali -First Muslim Oscar Winner...
The actor wins Academy Award for his role in Barry Jenkins-directed study of gay black man’s coming of age
He won the best supporting actor Oscar – a widely anticipated win – for his role in Moonlight, the acclaimed study of a black gay man’s coming of age.
In Moonlight, adapted from an unpublished play-script by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Ali plays a drug dealer called Juan who acts as a father figure to the central character Chiron. Directed by Barry Jenkins, Moonlight has proved a breakout critical hit since its premiere at the Telluride film festival in 2016.
Ali, who also appeared in another Oscar-nominated film, Hidden Figures, as well as the hit TV shows Treme, House of Cards and The 4400, had already won a string of awards for Moonlight, including the Screen Actors Guild, Critics Choice and NAACP Image awards. However he fell short at the Golden Globes (beaten by Aaron Taylor Johnson for Nocturnal Animals) and the Baftas (losing to Dev Patel for Lion).
Ali, who was born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore, is a high-profile convert to Islam, and recently revealed some of the discrimination he has experienced since joining the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 2001.
This year’s best supporting actor category featured a strong lineup that included Patel, Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water and Michael Shannon for Nocturnal Animals.
Congrats Ali..we watching you...