Date
16 August 2017
John Legend (R) and Common, winners of the best original song "Glory" for the film Selma, accept their Oscars at the 87th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 22. Photo: Reuters
John Legend (R) and Common, winners of the best original song "Glory" for the film Selma, accept their Oscars at the 87th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 22. Photo: Reuters

Oscar shout-out for HK Occupy protests wins Twitter kudos

Hong Kong’s fight for political freedoms came up during one of the acceptance speeches at the Oscar awards ceremony in Los Angeles Sunday evening.

John Legend and Common, who won the best original song Oscar for “Glory” — the theme song of the movie Selma — mentioned the Hong Kong democracy campaign as they paid tribute to the US civil rights movement.

Accepting the award, rapper Common, whose actual name is Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr, recalled how he and Legend had performed Glory on a bridge in Selma where Martin Luther King had marched for civil rights 50 years ago.

“The spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the South Side of Chicago, dreaming of a better life, to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression, to those in Hong Kong, protesting for democracy.”

Singer John Legend was explicit as he referenced the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, where protests erupted after a white police officer shot dead an unarmed 18-year-old black man.

“We say that Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now… We know that right now, the struggle for freedom and justice is real,” he said. “We are with you, we see you, we love you and march on.”

The comments won the duo plenty of praise from the public, with Twitter flooded with messages of support and gratitude for bringing up the universal topic.

Online forums also lit up in Hong Kong, where the Occupy protests of 2014 are still fresh in people’s minds after Beijing failed to deliver on promised free elections.

John Legend and Common have certainly won new admirers with their shout-out to the rights campaigners.

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RC

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