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SAG Awards Address #MeToo, #TimesUp And Donald Trump

Truth rating: 10
SAG Awards Women

By Shari Weiss |

SAG Awards Women

(TNT)

The 2018 SAG Awards addressed the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, as well as Donald Trump and the current state of politics. Watch speeches in the videos below.

Like many awards shows, the Screen Actors Guild Awards took a political turn last year. They followed not only Meryl Streep’s anti-Trump speech at the Golden Globes, but took place the same weekend the president enacted his controversial travel ban. This time around, the ceremony comes after the Golden Globes heavily focused on women’s empowerment. It was expected the SAG Awards would embrace that theme as well, particularly with organizers choosing only female stars to serve as presenters.

And the ceremony began with only women delivering the traditional “I Am An Actor” introductions. Tracee Ellis Ross said that, as an actor, she’s “utilized my voice for equity and justice in our industry and beyond.” And Millie Bobby Brown told young girls watching at home, “I believe in you, I believe in your dreams. Follow your hearts.” Kristen Bell, as the show’s first-ever host, then officially opened the show. Though she began with humor, including a somewhat comical jab at First Lady Melania Trump, her remarks turned poignant as she spoke about this “watershed moment.” She urged, “Let’s make sure we’re leading the charge with empathy and diligence, because fear and anger never win the race.”

William H. Macy, the night’s first winner, used part of his acceptance speech to discuss whether actors, in the roles they play, are lying or telling the truth. In an apparent dig at the Trump administration, he said it’s his job as an actor to “find the truth,” especially at a time when “so many people either can’t recognize the truth or don’t think it’s important.” Another male winner, Sam Rockwell, gave a shout-out to his co-star Frances McDormand, and added, “I stand shoulder to shoulder with you and all the incredible women in this room trying to make things better. It’s long overdue.”

SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris gave a speech about those who have “shared their truths with such courage and with such candor.” She went on, “Truth is power and women are stepping into their power. We are in the midst of a massive cultural shift, with brave voices saying ‘me too’ and advocates who know time is up. We are making a difference. You are making a difference. It’s amazing. Change is coming and we are the agents of that change. Men and women are the agents of that change.” The “Beverly Hills, 90210” star further said that that it’s clear “discrimination, harassment and abuse are no longer tolerated.” She declared, “Make no mistake. This is not a moment in time. This is a movement and our strength comes in our unity.”

Rosanna Arquette, who went public last fall with allegations against Harvey Weinstein, said before presenting an award, “We are honored to be part of the supportive and creative community, and we are inspired that so many powerful voices are no longer silenced by the fear of retaliation. We can control our own destiny.” Co-presenter Marisa Tomei then told her, “And Rosanna, you are one of those voices. You are one of the silence-breakers, and we all owe you a debt of gratitude.” Getting emotional, Arquette said, “I’m here supporting many women.” She and Tomei then named a number of women, Ashley Judd to Olivia Munn, plus Anthony Rapp.

Shortly after, Nicole Kidman won and paid tribute to women like Judi Dench and Meryl Streep. “I want to thank you all for your trailblazing performances you’ve given over your careers and how wonderful it is that our careers today can go beyond 40 years old, because 20 years ago we were pretty washed up by this stage in our lives. That’s not the case today,” she said, noting that women are showing they are “potent and powerful and viable.” The star stressed, “I just beg that the industry stays behind us because our stories are finally being told. It’s only the beginning. I am so proud to be part of a community that’s instigating this change.”

Morgan Freeman capped off his Life Achievement Award speech by pointing out “what’s wrong” with the SAG Awards statue: It favors men. “It works from the back. From the front it’s gender-specific. Maybe I started something,” he said. Towards the end of the broadcast, McDormand closed her acceptance speech by recognizing the next generation of actresses. “There’s a lot of young ones coming up and they need doorstops, too. Let’s think about that,” she said.

And before presenting the last award, Brie Larson shared, “With collaborations of #TimesUp and your union members here in this room, there will be a new code of conduct to ensure that there is safety on set so we can continue to be vulnerable, continue to be empathetic and do the brave and strong performances we’ve seen brief glimpses of tonight.” See video clips below.


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