HOUSTON (KTRK) --While glamour filled the red carpet, a crowd gathered in Rice Village to watch the Oscars.
"We look forward to seeing the style, the beautiful stars that take so much care to look great," said Simone Rashid, owner of Simone on Sunset.
From the opening monologue in Hollywood, politics took the stage.
Host Jimmy Kimmel thanked President Trump.
"Remember when last year the Oscars were considered racist? Well now that's gone thanks to him," Kimmel said.
Then, it was on to the speeches where several winners spent part of their speech talking about immigration. One winner had written his comments and said, "My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of six other countries who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans immigrants to the US."
At Simone on Sunset in Rice Village, many in the crowd were immigrants.
"I think it's important these days to express ourselves any way we can at any event possible," Ed Shiner said. "Especially with the political system these days."
University of Houston Professor of Media Studies Garth Jowett said political displays at the Oscars have been common since 1940, but nothing like recent years.
"I've never seen the country so divided," he said.
He said movies are becoming more bold and political, but it's often difficult for conservatives to get the same kind of platform.
"Art and politics seem to be melding much more these days and I think people have learned to expect people to speak their minds. Some believe it's inappropriate. I know the Academy get real nervous that someone may say the wrong thing," said Jowett.
Oscar Viewer Nader Badreddine said, "Some people find it inappropriate but in times like this I think freedom of speech is important for people to express themselves and give a voice to the voiceless."