Celebs Stood With Refugees At One Hell Of A SAG Awards
‘Stranger Things’ upset ‘GoT’ & that wasn’t even the highlight.
After President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning 218 million people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, Hollywood had a lot to say at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Whether it was through fashion or acceptance speeches, actors and actresses used the show as an opportunity to speak out about the country’s divisions. The SAG Awards came after a tense weekend in Washington, as dozens of passengers (including pre-approved refugees) were detained at airports across the country.
Simon Helberg & Jocelyn Towne
The “Big Bang Theory” star and his wife let their fashion do the talking. Helberg carried a sign that read “refugees welcome” while Towne painted the words “let them in” on her chest. Sometimes, less is more.
The actor opened the awards show with a declaration of solidarity with refugees. “You are a part of the fabric of who we are, and we love you, and we welcome you,” he told the audience. He also took to Twitter to remind us of the importance of compassion.
We have never been a nation built on fear. Compassion that is the root ethic of America. Our differences are fundamental 2R sustainability.
If standing for the America that doesn't discriminate makes me a left wing actor who is out of touch. Fuck it.
The “Scandal” actress announced prior to the show her decision to wear a safety pin to show support for refugees. Hot on the heels of her powerful speech at the Women’s March last week, Washington used her SAG acceptance speech as a chance to be heard again.
Trump has criticized actors for protesting his actions, but Washington told the crowd it’s important for actors to use their platforms to speak up for causes they believe in.
“A lot of people are saying right now that actors shouldn’t express their opinions when it comes to politics,” she said. “The truth is, actors are activists no matter what, and we embody the worth and humanity of all people. This union helps me to do that. I am Kerry Washington, and I am an actor.”
While accepting his award for outstanding performance by a male in a supporting role, the “Moonlight” actor, who is Muslim, spoke about the importance of looking past people’s differences.
“When we kind of get caught up in the minutiae, the details that make us all different, I think there’s two ways of seeing that,” he said. “There’s an opportunity to see the texture of that person, the characteristics that make them unique, and then there’s an opportunity to go to war about it and say, ‘That person’s different from me,’ and ‘I don’t like you. So, let’s battle.’” He then shared his own story of telling his mother, an ordained minister, that he was going to become Muslim.
After “Stranger Things” won the award for outstanding ensemble in a drama series, Harbour, who plays Chief Jim Hopper, delivered an impassioned speech reminding us to stand up to real-life monsters:
“We are united in that we are all human beings and we are all together on this horrible, painful, joyous, exciting and mysterious ride that is being alive,” he said. “We will shelter freaks and outcasts, those who have no home. We will get past the lies. We will hunt monsters…And we will do it all with soul, with heart, and with joy.”
When accepting the award for best actress in a comedy series for “Veep,” the actress joked that whether the Russians “did or did not hack” this awards show, “this award is legitimate and I won. I’m the winner, the winner is me. Landslide!”
She then got serious about how “horrified” she was by the immigration ban, being the child of an immigrant. Sharing her own story, she said: “My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France,” she said. “I’m an American patriot. I love this country and because I love this country, I am horrified by its blemishes. And this immigrant ban is a blemish and it is un-American.”
Taraji P. Henson
Taking the stage to accept the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, for “Hidden Figures,” Henson spoke on the film’s relevance. “This story is of unity,” she said. “This story is that what happens when we put our differences aside and we come together as a human race.
“We win. Love wins every time,” she concluded. Amen.