03/28/2008 02:46 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Etiquette Of Political Oscar Speeches

So the temptation to plug a winner's favorite cause often is too much to resist. Many an Oscar telecast director and academy publicist has wished they could simply eliminate politics from the show by fiat. Good luck with that one. They were the same sorts of people who thought they could control Marlon Brando on the set. (He, by the way, was one of the first to politicize the Oscars. In 1973, he sent the buckskin-clad Sacheen Littlefeather to collect his best actor award for playing Don Corleone in "The Godfather." She didn't have much to say about the Mafia, but she did denounce the treatment of Native Americans, which was on Brando's mind at the time.)

To be sure, there's lots on the minds of the celebs this year: the war, healthcare, Darfur and the small matter of electing a new president. Be prepared for lots of Obama chat on the red carpet. He's a hotter topic than the cancellation of Vanity Fair's post-Oscar party.

Click here for the rest of the password-protected Los Angeles Times story.