Mahershala Ali becomes the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar

The 'Moonlight' actor converted to Islam in 1999.

By claiming the Best Supporting Actor trophy for his performance in Moonlight, Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar.

Ali converted to Islam in 1999 and recently compared the discrimination he faces as a Muslim to the discrimination he faces as a black man living in America.

He told the Radio Times: “If you convert to Islam after a couple of decades of being a black man in the US, the discrimination you receive as a Muslim doesn’t feel like a shock. I’ve been pulled over, asked where my gun is, asked if I’m a pimp, had my car pulled apart. Muslims will feel like there’s this new discrimination that they hadn’t received before – but it’s not new for us.”


Viola Davis also made history at the Oscars when she won the Best Supporting Actress prize. In the process, she became the first black woman to complete the so-called ‘triple crown of acting’ by winning an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony.

La La Land won six awards on the night, but was overshadowed by an embarrassing mix-up which saw it seemingly claim the Best Picture prize, before organisers corrected the mistake and announced Moonlight as the true winner.

Footage of the La La Land and Moonlight teams reacting to the mix-up has been widely shared online ever since.

Check out the full list of winners at the Oscars 2017.