Politics dominate SAG awards

Politics dominate SAG awards
Octavia Spencer (L), Janelle Monae (2nd L) and Taraji P. Henson accept their award for Cast in a Motion Picture for "Hidden Figures" during the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017.
PHOTO: Reuters

As Hollywood's actors honoured their peers on Sunday at the Screen Actors Guild awards, the evening was overshadowed by politics as stars slammed US President Donald Trump for restricting entry for travellers from seven Muslim-majority nations.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won best comedy TV actress for playing flawed fictional US President Selina Meyer on HBO's political satire "Veep," used her acceptance speech to call Trump's ban on Muslim travellers a "blemish."

"Because I love this country, I am horrified by its blemishes, and this immigrant ban is a blemish," she said. "It is un-American."

Mahershala Ali, who won best supporting actor for his role in independent drama "Moonlight," highlighted in his speech that he is the Muslim son of a mother who is a Christian minister.

"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," he said as the audience cheered him on.

"I'm able to see her. She's able to see me. We love each other. The love has grown. The rest is minutiae."

Viola Davis won best supporting actress for her role in the African-American family drama film "Fences," and she used her speech to thank the late August Wilson, whose play the film is adapted from.

"What August did that was so beautiful is that he honoured the average man, who happened to be a man of colour," she said.

Other early wins included Sarah Paulson for best actress in a limited TV series for "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," who urged people to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union, and Netflix's "Orange is the New Black" for best comedy TV ensemble.

"It's going to be up to us and all of you to keep telling stories that show what unites us is stronger than the forces that seek to divide us," "Orange" actress Taylor Schilling said.

Voted for by about 120,000 US actors, the two-hour televised SAG awards show often anoints top Academy Award winners as actors comprise the largest body within Oscar voters.

With awards darling "La La Land" out of the running for the top prize SAG prize for best ensemble, "Moonlight," "Fences,"grief drama "Manchester by the Sea," female empowerment tale"Hidden Figures" and unorthodox family dramedy "Captain Fantastic" will vie for the accolade.


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