LOS ANGELES, Jan 30: Stars turned the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards into political stage with winners Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bryan Cranston and Sarah Paulson speaking up against President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration ban in their acceptance speeches.
Louis-Dreyfus said when accepting the prize for “Veep”, “I want you all to know that I am the daughter of an immigrant. My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France and I’m an American patriot and I love this country.
“Because I love this country, I am horrified by its blemishes. This immigrant ban is a blemish and it is un-American, so I say to you this: Our sister guild, the WGA Writers Guild of America made a statement today that I would like to read because I am in complete agreeance with it, ‘Our guilds are unions of storytellers, who have always welcomed those from nations and from various beliefs who wish to share their creativity with America.
“We are grateful for them. We stand with them. And we will fight for them.’ Thank you very much.”
Cranston, who won outstanding performance by a male actor in a television movie or limited series for his role as President Lyndon B Johnson in HBO’s “All the Way”, imagined what LBJ would react to Trump, “I honestly feel that 36 would put his arm around 45 and earnestly wish him success.
“And he also would whisper in his ear something he said often as a form of encouragement and a cautionary tale: ‘Just don’t … In the soup that all of us gotta eat.'”
Paulson, meanwhile, encouraged people to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenges the immigration ban in court.
“Any money you have to spare, please donate to the ACLU. “It’s a vital organization that relies entirely on our support.”
Taylor Schilling also brought up the topic when she and her “Orange Is the New Black” co-stars took the stage to accept the award for ensemble in a comedy series.
“And we know it’s going to be up to us and all of you probably too to keep telling stories that show what unites us is stronger than the forces that seek to divide us,” she said.
“Moonlight” star Mahershala Ali, who accepted best supporting role male prize, indirectly addressed the immigration ban.
“And what I was so grateful about in having the opportunity to play Juan was playing a gentlemen who saw a young man folding into himself as a result of the persecution of his community, and taking the opportunity to uplift him and tell him that he mattered, that he was okay, and accept him.
“I hope that we do a better job of that,” he said.
He went on sharing his story about embracing diversities saying his mother is an ordained minister, he is a Muslim and she didn’t “do backflips when I called her to tell her I converted 17 years ago.”
“And I’m able to see her, and she’s able to see me. We love each other and the love has grown. And that stuff is minutiae. It’s not that important.”
Actor Ashton Kutcher also addressed the controversial ban when opening the show. “Good evening, fellow SAG-AFTRA members, and everyone at home, and everyone in airports that belong in my America,” he said.
“You are a part of the fabric of who we are, and we love you, and we welcome you.” (PTI)