While Donald Trump was issuing his controversial travel ban this weekend, celebrities like Rihanna and Russell Simmons were denouncing the executive order on social media as thousands of citizens were doing the same at airports across the country.
And despite some actors and artists having other obligations, many were willing to use their platform, quite literally, as they took to the stage at the Screen Actors Guild Awards to make their own statements.
Taraji P. Henson, who spoke on behalf of her ensemble when Hidden Figures won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, said:
"This film is about unity...The shoulders of the women that we stand on are three American heroes: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Without them, we would not know how to reach the stars. These women did not complain about the problems, their circumstances, the issues. We know what was going on in that era. They didn't complain. They focused on solutions. Therefore, these brave women helped put men into space. We cannot forget the brave men that also worked with us. God rest his soul in peace, John Glenn. This story is about unity. This story is about what happens when we put our differences aside and we come together as a human race. We win. Love wins. Every time... Thank you so much for appreciating these women; they are hidden figures no more!"
Mahershala Ali, who won Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for Moonlight, said:
"I think what I've learned from working on 'Moonlight' is we see what happens when we persecute people. They fold into themselves, and what I was so grateful about in having the opportunity to play [his 'Moonlight' character] Juan was playing a gentleman who saw a young man folding into himself as the result of the persecution of his community, and taking the opportunity to uplift him, and tell him that he mattered, and that he was okay, and accept him and I hope that we do a better job of that. When we get caught up in the minutiae, the details that make us all different, I think there's two ways of seeing that: there's an opportunity to see the texture of that person, the characteristics that make them unique, and then there's an opportunity to go to war about it, say, 'That person is different from me, I don't like you, so let's battle.' My mother is an ordained minister, I'm a Muslim. 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, I'm able to see her, she's able to see me, we love each other, the love has grown. That stuff is minutiae. It's not that important."
David Harbour, who spoke on behalf of his ensemble when Stranger Things won the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, said:
"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 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. We are united in that we are all human beings and we are all together on his horrible, painful, joyous, exciting, and mysterious ride that is being alive. Now, as we act in the continuing narrative of 'Stranger Things,' 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, punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the meek and the disenfranchised and the marginalized."