The Screen Actors Guild Awards took place on January 29, 2017, wrapped the show with numerous surprises and snubs. The most memorable moments of the night included witty acceptance speeches against much debated U.S. President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies.
An event which marks the excellence of Actors for their contribution cinema and television, transformed into a political platform as numerous celebrities began to voice their displeasure over President Trump’s ban of refugees and immigrants from six Muslim countries. Each winner had a say about the ban and Trump’s unorthodox political stance in their acceptance speeches.
Star of the show Two and a Half Men, Ashton Kutcher, in his opening speech, said “everyone in airports that belong in my America.” He also added, “You are a part of the fabric of who we are. And we love you, and we welcome you.”
Even during the red carpet, celebrities like Simon Helberg, of The Big Bang Theory walked holding a placard which read “Refugees Welcome” and his wife had written “Let Them In” on her chest. Kerry Washington spoke directly to the camera showing her displeasure over the entire debacle as well.
There were celebrities who also pulled a ‘Meryl Streep’ and dedicated their entire acceptance speeches to the Immigration ban. David Harbour, who spoke for the cast of Stranger Things said, “This is unreal. I’d just like to say that with all that’s going on tonight, it’s hard to celebrate the already celebrated Stranger Things, “We are united in that we are all human beings and we’re all here together on this painful and mysterious ride that is being alive. “We will repel bullies, we will shelter freaks and outcasts, we will hunt monsters, and when we are lost, we will punch some people in the face, and we will do it all with soul, with heart, and with joy. We thank you for this responsibility.”
While Harbour was giving his speech, most could not take their eyes off Winona Ryder’s expressions as she stood beside him. Trending with numerous meme on the internet, Ryder’s bizarre expressions ranged from grimaces to surprise and no one knew why. Stranger Things winning the Best Ensemble in a Drama Series was a surprise since it didn’t win any individual awards.
Denzel Washington won his first SAG Award where he took home Best Male Actor in a Leading Role for Fences while Emma Stone won the Best Female Actor in a Leading Role for her performance in La La Land. She beat Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Natalie Portman and Emily Blunt for the same category. Another big surprise came from ‘Hidden Figures,’ which won the Best Picture beating La La Land. La La Land failed to secure a spot in the Best Picture category despite its 14 Oscar nominations. Mahershah Ali won the Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role for his role in Moonlight and Viola Davis won the same in the female category for the film Fences.
Claire Foy Was awarded Best Female Actor in a Drama Series for The Crown after John Lithgow won his Best Actor role in the same series.
Julia Louise Dreyfus, not a stranger to winning SAG awards, won the Best Actress for Comedy Series for Veep. “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 is un-American,” she said.
William H Macy won the best actor in a comedy series for Shameless. Orange is the New Black won the award for the best comedy series.
Lily Tomlin took home the 53rd SAG Lifetime Achievement Award not only for her outstanding performance in the acting field but also for her wit. In a humorous speech, she said, “You are kind of anti-climactic. Did you hear? The doomsday clock has been moved to two and a half minutes to midnight and this award came just in time.”