The SAG Awards is usually a night where members of the Screen Actors Guild—the union that represents actors working in television and film—celebrate each other’s achievements with peer-selected awards. This year’s SAG Awards definitely delivered on some exciting wins—Mahershala Ali for his role in Moonlight and the cast of Orange is the New Black to name a few—but it also delivered a ton of politically-charged commentary from the celebrities that stepped on-stage.
Ashton Kutcher finished off the opening—the SAG Awards never has an official host—by welcoming viewers to the show and “everyone in airports that belong in my America. We love you and we welcome you.”
The evening’s first big winner—Julia Louis-Dreyfus for her role in the HBO series Veep—really got the political ball rolling in her acceptance speech, which openly condemned President Trump’s controversial immigration ban:
“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’s un-American.”
In her acceptance speech for her role in The People vs. O.J. Simpson, actress Sarah Paulson encouraged everyone to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union, which was in part responsible for the temporary stay on Trump’s Executive Order. “I would like to make a plea for everyone,” she said. “If they can, any money they have to spare, please donate to the ACLU to protect the rights and liberties of people across this country.”
Lily Tomlin, who was presented with the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award by Dolly Parton, also used the platform to spread the word about some the causes she is passionate about including LGBTQ issues, civil rights, immigration and many others. Even Bryan Cranston offered the current Commander-in-Chief a bit of advice. “I honestly feel that 36 would put his arm around 45 and earnestly wish him success,” Cranston said. “And he would also whisper in his ear something he said often, as a form of encouragement and a cautionary tale: ‘Just don’t piss in the soup that all of us gotta eat.'”
Excellent advice, Cranston.
David Harbour, who accepted the award for the entire cast of Netflix’s Stranger Things, drew the crowd to a standing ovation in a passionate speech about acting and the current political climate. You can watch Harbour’s speech below. Oh, and check out Winona Ryder’s face—you’re going to want to prepare yourself for the memes tomorrow.
What a passionate speech by @DavidKHarbour on behalf of the @Stranger_Things ensemble! #StrangerThings #sagawards pic.twitter.com/EhTMXNsOTx — SAG Awards® (@SAGawards) January 30, 2017