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Meryl Streep Missing From Annual Oscar Nominee Photo (Photos)

A room full of 163 Oscar nominees got together and posed for a photo, but people couldn't help but notice that somebody very important was missing: three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep.

The annual picture of the 2017 nominees, taken at a nominee luncheon in Beverly Hills three weeks before the Feb. 26 awards show, has a noticeable empty space in the back row behind "Fences" star Denzel Washington, which some people have speculated was left open to mark her absence, notes the BBC.

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Streep has been nominated for an Oscar 20 times -- more than any other actor or actress, according to IMDB. Also missing from the photo are "Nocturnal Animals" supporting actor Michael Shannon and "Hacksaw Ridge" lead actor Andrew Garfield.

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The "Florence Foster Jenkins" leading actress drew controversy in January when she made a bold political statement denouncing President Donald Trump during her lifetime achievement acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, just days before his inauguration.

"It kind of broke my heart when I saw [Trump mock a disabled reporter] and I still can't get it out of my head because it wasn't in a movie, it was real life," Streep said on the stage, according to CNN. "This instinct to humiliate when it's modeled by someone in the public ... by someone powerful, it filters down into everyone's life because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same."

She also criticized the White House for its tough approach to immigration, saying that "Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if we kick them all out, you'll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts."

Whether or not Streep sat out the event for political reasons, or in the interest of keeping a low profile leading up to Hollywood's biggest night, which will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, remains to be seen.

Sources: BBC, IMDB, CNN / Photo credit: Artem/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons, Image Group LA via BBC

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