The blue ribbon at the Oscars 2023, pinned to the necklines of many celebrities, was printed with the hashtag '#WithRefugees.'
Many Hollywood A-listers wore blue ribbons at the Oscars 2023 event. This small detail holds a very poignant meaning. The champagne carpet is typically the main attraction surrounding the Oscars, but this year a minor element is what gained all the attention. Along with the beautiful outfits, a delicate blue ribbon was adorned by many celebrities at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. According to VanityFair, some nominees, including Cate Blanchett, Bill Nighy and Guillermo del Toro, were seen wearing them, raising curiosity about their significance. The Oscars are known for making subtle political statements and this was the case here. If you were curious, this is what the blue ribbons at the Oscars 2023 mean.
The blue ribbon at the Oscars 2023, pinned to the necklines of many celebrities, was printed with the hashtag “#WithRefugees.” The accessory, created in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency’s Coalition, is an “emblem of compassion and solidarity” with refugees, displaced people and those forced to flee their homes because of war and persecution. According to the UNHCR, “The Coalition members showcase practical ways of supporting refugees, especially in education, shelter, and employment. With its diverse membership, the Coalition helps amplify a global message of tolerance and inclusion.” The ribbon, made by the U.S. company Knotty Tie Co., supports refugees in Denver.
Best thing about the #Oscars tonight? The stars rocking our blue ribbons on the red carpet 💙— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) March 12, 2023
RT if you stand #WithRefugees too, no matter who they are, or where they come from. pic.twitter.com/mA6qTuCTyL
In a statement, the Agency wrote: "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." Even at the BAFTAs 2023, Cate Blanchett, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sophie Turner and Paul Mescal donned the blue ribbon. During a chat with PA on the red carpet, Curtis explained her decision to wear one of the ribbons to the award show, saying, “My friend Cate Blanchett is asking people to remind us all in the midst of all the season of shiny things that, of course, terrible refugee crises are going on all over the world everywhere all at once, and we need to do our part."
Blanchett is a goodwill ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency's Coalition along with Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini. The UNHCR reports more than 103 million people are forcibly displaced. In a statement from the coalition, Mardini wrote, "It's really incredible to see so many artists wear a blue ribbon tonight in solidarity with refugees and displaced people around the world. My people—and so many others—are hurting. They need our support. We all need peace." In a statement before the awards, Blanchett said, “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.”
The Oscars celebrated not just the best of cinema but also the will and power of refugees. As reported by Vogue, actor Ke Huy Quan, who received the best supporting Oscar award for his role in "Everything Everywhere All at Once," mentioned his family's history in a moving speech. “My journey started on a boat,” adding that his family fled Vietnam for a Hong Kong refugee camp before immigrating to the U.S. in 1979. Other actors, like Dolly De Leon from "Triangle of Sadness", also expressed support from the film industry. "At a time when there are so many people suffering in the world, showing a little kindness and compassion to our fellow humans should not be a big ask."