Pro-immigration messages and sentiment dominated the Screen Actors Guild awards on Sunday, with many winners using their acceptance speeches to defy Donald Trump’s executive order banning Muslims and Syrian refugees from entering America., which has sparked massive protests in airports across the U.S. in recent days.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (pictured above), who won Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, shared her experiences as the daughter of an immigrant. “My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France, and I am an American patriot, and I love this country,” said the “Veep” actress. “I am horrified by its blemishes, and this immigrant ban is a blemish, and it is un-American.”
Host Ashton Kutcher (whose wife Mila Kunis has previously spoken out passionately for immigrant’s rights) opened the night with this comment: “Good evening, fellow SAG members and everyone at home and everyone in airports that belong in my America,” Kutcher said. “You are a part of the fabric of who we are and we love you and we welcome you.”
After Stranger Things won the award for outstanding ensemble, lead actor David Harbour condemned bigotry and bullying in the night’s most fiery speech, which referenced the hit show’s themes in a rallying cry to supporters around the world.
“We 1983 Midwesterners will repel bullies. We will shelter freaks and outcasts, those who have no home. We will get past the lies! We will hunt monsters! And when we are at a loss amidst the hypocrisy and the casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will—as per Chief Jim Hopper [his Stranger Things character]—punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the weak and the disenfranchised and the marginalized, and we will do it all with soul, with heart, and with joy!”
Other celebs such as The Big Bang Theory‘s Simon Hellberg and wife Jocelyn Towne turned to red carpet protests like this one, which garnered plenty of attention of Twitter:
In a statement, the Writers Guild of America have also condemned Trump’s ban, which in part read: “It is both unconstitutional and deeply wrong to say that you cannot enter our country because of where you were born or what religion you were born into.”
Scandal actress Kerry Washington said Hollywood should and will remain outspoken and active on the issue: “A lot of people are saying right now that actors should keep our mouths shut when it comes to politics,” she said. “But the truth is, no matter what, actors are activists because we embody the humanity and worth of all people.”