Just a day after President Trump signed an executive order barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., the annual SAG Awards Sunday night turned political. What was once a celebration for artists has become a giant platform for outspoken actors. We saw it at the Golden Globes earlier this month. We’ll probably see it again x1000 at the Academy Awards.
Here are 10 candid actors who delivered much more than a thank you speech.
1. Ashton Kutcher
“Good evening, fellow SAG-AFTRA members, and everyone at home, and everyone in airports that belong in my America,” Kutcher said as he opened the awards. He continued, “you are a part of the fabric of who we are. And we love you and we welcome you.”
2. “Moonlight” actor Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali shared a personal anecdote to highlight the importance of overcoming persecution.
“My mother is an ordained minister. I’m a Muslim,” Ali said after winning best supporting actor. “She didn’t do backflips when I called her 17 years ago to tell her I converted. But I tell you now, you put things to the side … The love has grown, and that stuff is minutia. It’s not that important.”
3. “Veep” actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus
The “Veep” star held nothing back, calling out Trump’s immigration ban as a blemish and un-American.
“I want you all to know that I am the daughter of an immigrant,” she said. “My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France and I’m an American patriot and I love this country.”
4. “Stranger Things” actor David Harbour
“Stranger Things” veteran actor David Harbour (AKA Chief Jim Hopper) literally brought down the house Sunday night.
“We are united in that we are all human beings, and we are all together on this horrible, painful, joyous, exciting and mysterious ride that is being alive.”
5. “The Big Bang Theory” actor Simon Helberg
Who cares about designer names when you can make a political statement? Simon Helberg (AKA Howard Wolowitz) and his wife Jocelyn Towne struck a pose with a bold message.
6. “People vs. OJ Simpson” actress Sarah Paulson
Choosing a less polarizing approach, “People vs. OJ Simpson” actress Sarah Paulson spoke strongly to her fellow Americans.
“Any money you have to spare, please donate to the ACLU… It’s a vital organization that relies entirely on our support.”
7. “Hidden Figures” actress Taraji P. Henson
“Hidden Figures” actress Taraji P. Henson didn’t need to mention Trump by name, speaking instead of healing and hope.
“What are we going to do to get past this?” she asked the crowd. “I think that’s why this film is so timely. The beautiful thing in 2017 is that the majority is on the right side of history. Fear not. Fear and faith cannot coexist. Pick your battles. I choose faith.”