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Dublin: 18 °C Friday 23 August, 2019
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The cast of Stranger Things delivered a passionate speech against Trump's refugee ban at the SAG Awards

“We will repel bullies.”

The 23rd Annual SAG Awards - Show Source: Chris Pizzello

THE SCREEN ACTOR Guild Awards took place in Los Angeles last night, with Denzel Washington and Emma Stone winning the two main acting awards in the movie categories.

But the red carpet and ceremony itself was dominated by one issue: President Trump’s refugee ban that was enacted over the weekend.

The 23rd Annual SAG Awards - Arrivals Source: Jordan Strauss

The cast of Stranger Things won out in the Best TV Drama Ensemble category, and star David Harbour led the group on stage.

And it was there that he delivered an impassioned speech that drew a standing ovation

Source: TNT/YouTube

He began:

I would just like to say that in light of all that’s going on in the world today, it’s difficult to celebrate the already celebrated Stranger Things, but this award from you, who take your craft seriously and earnestly believe, like me, that great acting can change the world, is a call to arms from our fellow craftsmen and women to go deeper and through our art to battle against fear, self-centeredness and exclusivity of our predominantly narcissistic culture.
And through our craft to cultivate a more empathetic and understanding society by revealing intimate truths that serve as a forceful reminder to folks that when they feel broken and afraid and tired, they are not alone.

The 23rd Annual SAG Awards - Show Source: Chris Pizzello

And his closing remarks brought the auditorium to its feet:

We are united, in that we are all human beings and we are all together on this horrible, painful, joyous, exciting and mysterious ride that is being alive.
Now, as we act and the continuing narrative of Stranger Things, we 1983 Midwesterners will repel bullies. We will shelter freaks and outcasts, those who have no homes.
We will get past the lies. We will hunt monsters. And when we are lost amidst the hypocrisy and the casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will, as per Chief Jim Hopper, punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the meek and the disenfranchised and the marginalized. And we will do it all with soul, with heart, and with joy.

The tone was set early in the evening when host Ashton Kutcher welcomed viewers and “everyone in airports that belong in my America”

Source: TNT/YouTube

Veep star Julia Louis Dreyfus spoke out against the immigration ban on seven Muslim-majority countries: “I want you all to know that I am a daughter of an immigrant”

Source: sofi/YouTube

Mahershala Ali won Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting role for his turn in Moonlight, and his speech was an emotional call for unity

The 23rd Annual SAG Awards - Show Source: Chris Pizzello

“What I’ve learned from working on Moonlight is we see what happens when you persecute people”

Source: sofi/YouTube

You can find a full list of winners and all the acceptance speeches on the SAG website here.

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About the author:

David Elkin

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