Michelle Obama's Oscar Appearance Sparks Online Debate

Monday, 25 Feb 2013 10:08 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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First lady Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance via satellite at Sunday night's Academy Awards to announce "Argo" as the Best Picture winner, but her role in the Oscars show has sparked debate among her supporters and critics who say it's time for some separation of Hollywood and state.

Obama dialed in from the Governor's Ball in Washington, D.C., to help Jack Nicholson give out the top prize of the night.

"These nine movies took us back in time and all around the world. They made us laugh, they made us weep, and they made us grip our armrests just a little tighter," Obama said before announcing the winner. "They taught us that love can endure against all odds and transform our lives in the most surprising ways, and they reminded us that we can overcome any obstacle if we can dig deep enough and fight hard enough and find the courage to believe in ourselves."

The cameo was reportedly the work of film industry mogul and Obama supporter Harvey Weinstein, who arranged for Oscars producers to fly to D.C. to arrange the appearance a few weeks ago, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

"The Academy Awards approached the first lady about being a part of the ceremony," Obama's communications director Kristina Schake told the Hollywood Reporter. "As a movie lover, she was honored to present the award and celebrate the artists who inspire us all — especially our young people — with their passion, skill and imagination."

But outrage quickly spread throughout the Internet, with political and media personalities shaking their heads online.

And after Obama's "Evolution of Mom Dancing" performance on Jimmy Fallon's late night show over the weekend, some complained that the first lady has been making too many celebrity appearances.

"Forget separation of church and state — we need a separation of Hollywood and state," conservative journalist Michelle Malkin retweeted.

Hollywood's ties to liberal politicians also came under fire last month, when former president Bill Clinton presented "Lincoln" as a nominee at the Golden Globes.

Related stories:

Boehner Gets Michelle Obama Eye Roll at Inauguration Luncheon

Michelle Obama Attends Teen Victim's Funeral

What Will Michelle Obama Do With Four More Years?

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