Wednesday 26 April 2017

Crowning glory for Queen Claire at SAG Awards dominated by Trump anger

Claire Foy with her outstanding performance by a female actor award (Invision/AP)
Claire Foy with her outstanding performance by a female actor award (Invision/AP)
Dev Patel added his voice to the outrage over Donald Trump's travel ban
Riz Ahmed says people should speak out over Donald Trump's controversial ban

Hollywood stars have voiced anger at Donald Trump's controversial travel ban at a politically-charged Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, where British actress Claire Foy was among the winners.

Foy was named best actress in a drama series for her portrayal of the Queen in Netflix show The Crown at the star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles.

A number of award winners used their acceptance speeches to oppose the US president's decision to ban nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering America.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus branded the move "un-American", while award nominee Dev Patel said the decision was "utterly devastating".

Louis-Dreyfus, who was named best TV comedy actress for her role in Veep, said on stage: "I'm the daughter of an immigrant. My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France.

"I'm an American patriot and I love this country. Because I love this country, I'm horrified by its blemishes.

"This immigration ban is a blemish and it is un-American."

Denzel Washington beat Manchester By The Sea's Casey Affleck to win the best actor award for his performance in Fences, while Emma Stone was named best actress for her role in musical La La Land.

The cast of Hidden Figures were the surprise winners of the best ensemble prize, beating Manchester By The Sea and Moonlight after La La Land missed out on a nomination.

Accepting her award, Stone said: "We're in a really tricky time in the world, in our country, and things are very inexcusable and scary and need action.

"I'm so grateful to be part of a group of people that cares and wants to reflect things back to society."

Stranger Things star David Harbour launched a passionate speech on stage after the Netflix show won best ensemble in a drama series.

The actor, who plays police chief Jim Hopper, described the award as a "call to arms" to fellow artists to "battle against fear, self-centredness and exclusivity of our predominantly narcissistic culture".

He said: "When we are at a loss, amidst the hypocrisy and the casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will ... punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the meek and the disenfranchised and marginalised - and do it all with heart and joy."

Viola Davis won best supporting actress for her performance opposite Washington in Fences, while Mahershala Ali was named best supporting actor for his role in coming-of-age drama Moonlight.

On stage, a tearful Ali said: "We see what happens when you persecute people - they fold into themselves.

"I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to play Juan who saw a young man folding into himself as a result of persecution in his community and took the opportunity to tell him that he matters, that he was OK and he was accepted.

"I hope we do a better job of that."

Bryan Cranston won the award for best actor in a limited series or TV movie for his portrayal of former US president Lyndon B Johnson in HBO film All The Way.

Accepting his award, he said: "I'm often asked how would Lyndon Johnson think about Donald Trump. I honestly feel that 36 would put his arm around 45 and earnestly wish him success.

"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 got to eat'."

John Lithgow praised Meryl Streep's Golden Globes speech after he was named best actor in a drama series for his performance as Sir Winston Churchill in The Crown.

On stage, he said: "I would like to honour ... a great and underrated actress who managed to speak my exact thoughts three weeks ago at another awards ceremony and that's Meryl Streep."

William H Macy won best actor in a comedy series for his performance in the US version of Shameless - and thanked Mr Trump for "making Frank Gallagher seem so normal".

Meanwhile, actor Ashton Kutcher opened the show at the Shrine Auditorium by welcoming "everyone in airports who belong in my America".

"You are a part of the fabric of who we are and we love you and we welcome you," he said.

Dolly Parton presented her co-star from Nine To Five, Lily Tomlin, with the SAG Life Achievement Award.

Press Association

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