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Why are stars wearing a red button at the Oscars?

Several of the stars in attendance at the 2024 Oscars ceremony were seen wearing pins in support of a ceasefire in Gaza.

Outside the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, where annual awards ceremony is being staged, hundreds of protesters gathered to protest the ongoing violence in Palestine.

Inside the ceremony, several of the night’s nominees, including Selma director Ava DuVernay and Avengers actor Mark Ruffalo, as well as Best Original Song nominees Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, were seen sporting pins in support of Artists4Ceasefire, an organisation calling for an end to fighting and for humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians.

Follow along with all the live updates from the red carpet and ceremony here…

The red pins feature an image of an outstretched hand.

Speaking to Variety on the red carpet, Poor Things star Ramy Youssef said: “We’re calling for an immediate, permanent ceasefire in Gaza. We’re calling for peace and lasting justice for the people of Palestine.”

Anatomy of a Fall actors Milo Machado Grenier and Swann Arlaud were also seen wearing pins bearing the Palestine flag.

On Sunset Boulevard, riot police were present as demonstrators gathered to protest, reportedly yelling “Free Palestine” and “Let’s shut it down” on the outskirts of the venue. The beginning of the ceremony was delayed by around five minutes as a result of the protest.

Billie Eilish at the 2024 Oscars, sporting a red ceasefire pin (EPA)
Billie Eilish at the 2024 Oscars, sporting a red ceasefire pin (EPA)

An open letter signed by more than 400 artists through the Artists4Ceacefire organisation was sent to US president Joe Biden last year. Among those lending their name to the letter were Jessica Chastain, Quinta Brunson, Richard Gere, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o, Mahershala Ali and Barbie nominee America Ferrera.

The letter, which is available to read on the organisation’s website, reads: “We come together as artists and advocates, but most importantly as human beings witnessing the devastating loss of lives and unfolding horrors in Israel and Palestine.

“We ask that, as President of the United States, you and the US Congress call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel before another life is lost. More than 30,000 people have been killed over the last 5 months, and over 69,000 injured – numbers that any person of conscience knows are catastrophic.”

This year’s Oscars ceremony saw the nuclear physicist biopic Oppenheimer go up against films including Barbie, Killers of the Flower Moon, Anatomy of a Fall and Maestro for the film industry’s most prestigious honours.