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Scots Oscar hopeful David Mackenzie fears night of Trump-bashing

Director David Mackenzie (Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)
Director David Mackenzie (Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

IT’S likely to be the most politically charged Oscars ceremony ever.

But one no-nonsense Scottish filmmaker has warned gong winners not to “babble” on about politics at the red carpet event.

David Mackenzie – whose film Hell Or High Water is up for four awards including Best Picture – fears luvvies will use the winner’s podium to launch an assault on President Donald Trump.

The 50-year-old director said there was a danger of the message being lost if it overshadowed the awards themselves.

“There’s a lot of politicising going on at the moment,” said Mackenzie, who is a graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee.

He admitted he had “mixed feelings” about people bringing politics into the entertainment industry, adding: “I hope the message doesn’t get diluted by too much babble.”

Donald Trump (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Donald Trump (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Other actors, however, can’t wait to see a night of Trump-bashing.

British actor David Harewood, 51, who starred in TV shows Homeland and The Night Manager, said he supported Oscar winners who wished to criticise Mr Trump.

“Any attempt to bash Trump is good,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun night. Definitely get your recorders out for some fun speeches.”

Meanwhile, London-born pop singer Jessie J, 28, said the Oscars were a “perfect situation” to address political issues that “people are avoiding talking about”.

She said: “Artists and performers and people in the limelight have to reflect the times. If you’re not outraged, you’re not listening.”

Tonight’s Academy Awards take place on the back of a fresh White House controversy.

A number of news organisations, including the BBC, CNN and The Daily Mail, were banned from a White House press briefing in a move that has angered free speech supporters.

Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer – who enforced the media ban – has since revealed President Trump will not be watching the Oscars.

The televised Los Angeles bash is expected to be dominated by success for the movie La La Land – which has earned a whopping 14 award nominations.

Mr Mackenzie’s film – which stars Jeff Bridges, 67, and Chris Pine, 36 – tells the story of two brothers who carry out a series of bank robberies to save their family ranch.