At the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night, almost every winner seemed to have something to say about politics.
Few pulled a Meryl Streep and dedicated an entire speech to the state of the world today, but nearly everyone who spoke was soberly aware that they were celebrating on the same weekend in which President Donald Trump signed an executive order on immigration that will exacerbate an already debilitating global refugee crisis.
Before the ceremony even began in earnest, Kerry Washington spoke straight into the camera and reminded the audience that she and her fellow actors have every right to be political: “A lot of people are saying right now that actors should keep our mouths shut when it comes to politics. But the truth is, no matter what, actors are activists because we embody the humanity and worth of all people.”
And Host Ashton Kutcher, who spoke against the immigration ban on Twitter earlier this weekend, welcomed “everyone in airports that belong in my America” at the top of the show, adding, “You are a part of the fabric of who we are, and we love you and we welcome you.”
But the most pointed commentary came during the winners’ acceptance speeches.
Sarah Paulson, accepting an award for playing Marcia Clark in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, urged those watching to donate to the ACLU — which successfully sued for an emergency stay on the immigration ban — as much as they are able.
Mahershala Ali, winning Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Moonlight, spoke about the importance of recognizing the commonalities in our differences. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, accepting her trophy for Veep, briefly channeled Trump (“I am the winner. The winner is me. Landslide.”), before reminding the audience that “I’m the daughter of an immigrant” and concluding, “Because I love this country, I am horrified by its blemishes. This immigrant ban is a blemish, and it’s un-American.”