By Kelsey Duchesne
On January 29th, our favorite celebrities flooded the Hollywood red carpet for the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild awards, and for the first time in years, I wasn’t watching. Rather than taking part in my typical ritual of aggressively texting my best friend about my favorite dresses, I watched the ongoing Muslim ban protests grow at JFK, O’Hare, Dulles, Newark, and LAX airports (among others). President Trump's executive order to ban citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. was well underway, and I was curious to whether the Hollywood community would embrace the SAG awards as an opportunity to speak up, and speak loud. Lindsay Lohan once said, “I don't like to talk about politics. If you say you're a Democrat, that'll turn off Republicans, and that's half of your fan base", and while I do understand entertainers want to do what's best for their careers (bc duh), that ethos doesn’t necessarily apply anymore. Not when minorities, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, people of color, and the entire female population have their well-being at stake. It’s time to speak up-- even in Hollywood. Especially when you're on stage, accepting an award. Having a public voice is a built-in platform, and I should hope they use their 2 minutes onstage to say something real-- and you know what? Many of them did.
These were our favorite speeches of at the Screen Actors Guild awards. Enjoy!
"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, and because I love this country I am horrified by its blemishes. And this immigrant ban is a blemish and it is un-American."
“Good evening fellow SAG AFTRA members, everyone at home, and everyone in airports that belong in my America. YOU are a part of the fabric of who we are and we love you and we welcome you.”
"When we get caught up in the minutiae, the details that make us all different, there's two ways of seeing that. You can see the texture of that person, the qualities that make them unique, or you can go to war about it, say, 'That person is different from me, I don't like you, so let's battle.' My mother is an ordained minister, I'm a Muslim. She didn't do backflips when I called her to tell her I converted 17 years ago. But I tell you now, we put things to the side, I'm able to see her, she's able to see me, we love each other, the love has grown. That stuff is minutiae. It's not that important."
David Harbour of 'Stranger Things'
"I would just like to say, in light of all that's going on in the world today, it's difficult to celebrate the already celebrated Stranger Things, but this award from you who take your craft seriously and earnestly believe, like me, that great acting can change the world is a call to arms from our fellow craftsmen and women to go deeper. And through our art to battle against fear, self-centeredness and exclusivity of our predominately narcissistic culture and through our craft to cultivate a more empathetic and understanding society by revealing intimate truths that serve as a forceful reminder to folks that when they feel broken and afraid and tired they are not alone."
Hidden Figures Cast
“This film is about unity,” Henson said. “The shoulders of the women that we stand on are three American heroes: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Without them, we would not know how to reach the stars...
...This story is about what happens when we put our differences aside, and we come together as a human race,” she concluded. “We win. Love wins every time ... They are hidden figures no more!”
Alia Shakat greeted the SAG audiences in Arabic, a subtle but powerful reminder that Hollywood is made up of men and women from all over the world...including the countries Trump is trying to ban. Shakat's father is an immigrant from Baghdad, Iraq.
"Assalamu alaikum (peace be with you). Like many of our nominees here tonight, we represent people who have come from other cultures, and that’s a real fact."
Heldberg and his wife, Jocelyn Towne, were clear and direct about their stance on the Muslim ban when they walked the red carpet. This fashion statement spoke volumes.
What was your favorite moment from the SAG awards? Comment below! :)