Oscars 2017: Mahershala Ali becomes first Muslim actor to win

Actor Mahershala Ali garnered rave reviews as Juan, a drug dealer who becomes a father figure for young Chiron in "Moonlight." But when he won the Academy Award Sunday for best supporting actor, Ali also made history as the first Muslim in...

Oscars 2017: Mahershala Ali becomes first Muslim actor to win

Actor Mahershala Ali garnered rave reviews as Juan, a drug dealer who becomes a father figure for young Chiron in "Moonlight."

But when he won the Academy Award Sunday for best supporting actor, Ali also made history as the first Muslim in history to win an acting Oscar. 

The actor, who also appears in another best picture nominee, "Hidden Figures," had addressed his religion in his acceptance speech when he won a Screen Actors Guild award for the same role in January. 

"My mother is an ordained minister," he said. I'm a Muslim. She didn't do black flips when I told her I converted 17 years ago ... I'm able to see her. She's able to see me. We love each other ... and that stuff is minutia. It's not that important."

In his acceptance speech at the Oscar, Ali, 43, didn't mention the milestone. He thanked director Barry Jenkins and his wife, who made it through awards season in her third trimester of pregnancy and gave birth four days ago to their daughter. 

Here's Mahershala Ali's beautiful #Oscars speech pic.twitter.com/Nkp40YmuBW

-- Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 27, 2017

Here's a sampling of the Twitter reaction to Ali's win: 

[<a href="//storify.com/NJentertainment/mahershala-ali-becomes-first-muslim-to-win-actor-o" target="_blank">View the story "Mahershala Ali becomes first Muslim to win actor Oscar" on Storify</a>]<h1>Mahershala Ali becomes first Muslim to win actor Oscar</h1><h2>Ali won for playing Juan in 'Moonlight'</h2><p>Storified by <a href="https://storify.com/NJentertainment">NJ.com</a>· Mon, Feb 27 2017 03:25:21 </p><div>mahershala ali is killing it, first muslim actor to win an oscar [?] [?] moonlight was amazing [?] shefa</div><div>9GAG: Mahershala Ali really had the best year ever. #Oscar https://t.co/zW3g9F8DGbMisha Shah</div><div>Mahershala Ali Is the First Muslim Actor to Win an Oscar. [?] [?] Daniel Arsham</div><div>Mahershala Ali is so beautiful [?] Kiana </div><div>A Black Muslim Won An Oscar!!!![?][?] "Mahershala Ali is the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar" https://t.co/fGvpNoIcfYFEMWOC</div><div>My boy Mahershala Ali. Congrats on that golden statue. Damn so proud of you!Wayne Pretlow</div><div>Mahershala Ali congrats brother on your Oscar! #oscars #moonlight #mahershalaali https://t.co/sA3LzQ8fj6 https://t.co/Bh7d0jfIkSDavid Radney</div><div>Congrats to former Gael Mahershala Ali on winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor #OscarsSaint Mary's Hoops</div>   Amy Kuperinsky may be reached at akuperinsky@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmyKup or on Facebook.  

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