SAG Awards Speeches On Donald Trump, Refugees And Immigration (VIDEO)

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SAG Awards Speeches Trump

By Shari Weiss

VIDEO

SAG Awards Speeches Trump

(Getty Images)

The 2017 SAG Awards on Sunday were unusually political, with many presenters and winners making references to President Donald Trump, refugees and immigrants.

As Gossip Cop has reported, celebrities are reacting to the Muslim ban that was essentially put in effect on Friday by Trump’s executive action banning immigration from seven predominantly-Muslim countries for 90 days. He also put a stop to admission of refugees for 120 days. Stars have been extremely vocal about the situation on social media, and a number of actors are now using the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards as a platform.

The first to do so was Kerry Washington, who opened the broadcast with the ceremony’s typical “I Am An Actor” segment by stressing that actors can also be activists. Ashton Kutcher, though, was the first to take the stage, and delivered an official welcome to attendees, viewers, and “everyone in airports that belong in my America.” He declared, “You are a part of the fabric of whom we are, and we love you, and we welcome you.”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the night’s first winner, for actress in a comedy series, and she began her acceptance speech by spoofing President Trump’s comments on winning and crowd size. The “Veep” star then said, “I am the daughter of an immigrant. My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France. I am an American patriot and I love this country. Because I love this country, I am horrified by blemishes on this country, and this immigrant ban is a blemish.”

She also read part of the Writer’s Guild statement on Trump’s orders. William H. Macy of “Shameless” then kicked off his acceptance speech for comedy actor by saying, “I would like to go against the strain this evening and thank President Trump for making Frank Gallagher seem so normal.” Next, Taylor Schilling spoke on the behalf of the “Orange Is The New Black” cast, which won for comedy series.

“We represent a diverse group of people whose generations of families have sought a better life here,” she said, as her co-stars shouted out countries and places. She continued, “We know that it’s going to be up to all of us and you too to keep telling stories that show the forces that unite us [rather than] those that seek to divide us.”

After that, Fences star Viola Davis won for supporting actress in a film, and made a speech about diversity, saying that minorities like African-Americans “deserve to be in the canon, in the center of any narrative that’s written out there.” Mahershala Ali, winning for supporting actor for Moonlight, said the film shows “what happens when you persecute people — they fold into themselves.”

Becoming visibly emotional with tears in his eyes, the actor noted how his character shows acceptance, and said, “I hope that we do a better job of that.” He revealed that he became a Muslim 17 years ago, while his mom is a Christian minister. “The love has grown. That stuff is minutia. It’s not that important,” he stressed.

Concluding her speech for actress in a miniseries or television movie, “People v. O.J. Simpson” star Sarah Paulson urged, “I would like to make a plea for everyone, if they can, any money they have to spare to donate to the ACLU to protect the rights of people across the nation.” Bryan Cranston, winning in the male category for “All The Way,” said, “I’m often asked how would Lyndon Johnson think about Donald Trump.”

He continued, “And I honestly feel that 36 would put his arm around 45 and earnestly wish him success. He would also whisper something in his ear something that he said often, and a cautionary tale: ‘Just don’t piss in the soup that all of us gotta eat.'”

When Common and Sophia Bush introduced the actor in a drama series category, she read off a list of unflattering adjectives, and the rapper-actor joked that if he said who they reminded him of, he’d “risk a Twitter war.” When John Lithgow then won for “The Crown,” he ended his speech by saying he’d also like to thank “a great, underrated actress who somehow managed to speak my exact thoughts three weeks ago at another ceremony, and that’s Meryl Streep.”

Alia Shawkat introduced the corresponding female category with a Muslim greeting, and noted that, like many there, “We represent people who come from other cultures, and that’s a real fact.” SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris later took the stage, saying in part, that “our union and our country are stronger” because of a commitment to diversity. She reaffirmed the guild’s dedication to the arts as a way to change the world.

For drama series, Riz Ahmed and Rashida Jones read off the dystopian descriptions, cracking, “These are all headlines we read this morning.” After “Stranger Things” won, actor David Harbour said it’s hard to celebrate “in light of all that’s going on the world,” but vowed that they would continue to “battle against fear and exclusivity” to make a “more understanding society.” He noted, “We are all human beings and we are all together on this painful, joyous experience that is being alive.”

And if necessary, he’s ready to “punch some people in the face.” Jonah Hill had to present best film actress after, leading him to sarcastically say, “Glad I followed that!” La La Land star Emma Stone won, and concluded by acknowledging the world is in a “really tricky time, and things are very inexcusable and scary and need action.” She added, “I’m so grateful to be part of a group of people that cares and wants to reflect things back to society.”

Hidden Figures went on to win the final award for ensemble, and Taraji P. Henson stated, “This film is about unity.” She added, “This story is about what happens when we put our differences aside and we come together as a human race. We win, love wins, every time.”

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