The tone of the 23rd annual SAG Awards was definitively political, as winners and presenters took every opportunity to discuss the rising tension in the United States and to criticize the recent executive order by President Trump to ban immigration from seven predominantly muslim countries.
Most avoiding calling President Trump out by name, but others held no qualms about calling out the president directly.
From moving speeches about unity and acceptance to those that put a more comical spin on a serious topic, we’ll let you decide which burn was the best!
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As the first presenter of the night, Kutcher got the ball rolling on the political call-outs:
“Hello to everyone watching at home, and in airports, that belong in my America,” Kutcher said. “You are part of the fabric of who we are — and we love you, and we welcome you.”
“This award is legitimate and I won,” Dreyfus said, mocking President Trump’s well-known bravado. “I’m the winner, the winner is me, landslide.” On a more serious note, she spoke to the ban on immigration, and why it was a personal matter to her and her family:
“I am the daughter of an immigrant… and because I love this country, I am horrified by its blemishes,” Dreyfus said.
William H. Macy
Macy decided a quick jab at his own character on “Shameless” would be the best way to get in a quick burn:
“I’d like to go against the grain of the night and thank President Trump — for making Frank Gallagher seem so normal,” Macy said.
Orange is the New Black
The cast of “Orange is the New Black” took a surprisingly somber approach to the evening, with a firm stance on accepting and embracing other people’s differences. “What unites us is stronger than the forces that seek to divide us,” Taylor Schilling said.
After winning yet another award for her role in “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” Sarah Paulson urged everyone present and everyone watching to donate to the ACLU.
“I make a plea, for everyone: Any money you have to spare, please donate to the ACLU — it’s a vital organization.”
In the first true standing-ovation barnstormer of the night, Mr. Ali spoke about his own experience as an American, about playing such a vital and complex, caring role in “Moonlight,” and more. While his references to the current volatile situation were low-key, they were constant and kind. A moment to remember.
Cranston decided to share the advice he believed his character Lyndon B. Johnson would have given Trump if he’d had the chance:
“Just don’t piss in the soup that all of us gotta eat.”
While accepting her lifetime achievement award, Tomlin took a quick moment to take a jab at Donald Trump’s “alternative facts” and “fake news” embarrassments with her usual grace, style and wit.
Sophia Bush & Common
Always one to speak her mind, Sophia Bush made a not-so-subtle reference to President Trump while presenting.
“What do these men have in common, Common? A paranoid hacker, a successful businessman, a world leader, an heir with ties to the opposition, and a sociopathic chief executive?” Bush asked.
Common responded, tongue in check, “Well, if I say what I’m thinking, I’m risking a Twitter war…”
Another presenter who didn’t mind making her opinion about the immigration ban clear was “Search Party’s” Alia Shawkat, who opened her introduction with “Salaam-Alaikum,” which is the Arabic phrase for “peace be unto you.”
We’re not sure anyone in the world is as passionate as David Harbour about anything, which is probably why his shouty acceptance speech struck a serious chord and brought everyone in the room to their feet.
“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. As we act in the continuing narrative of “Stranger Things,” we 1983 mid-westerners will repel bullies, we will shelter freaks and outcasts, those who have no home.”
Taraji P. Henson
Even as the show drew to a close, Taraji P. Henson accepted the award for “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture” on behalf of “Hidden Figures” and reminded the audience what the human race is capable of when we differences are put aside.”
“This story is of unity. This story is about what happens when we put our differences aside and we come together as a human race. We win. Love wins. Every time.”