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Hollywood gets political at 2017 SAG Awards

Gemma Strong
Gemma StrongOnline Digital News Director
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Donald Trump's controversial immigration ban proved to be a hot topic at the 2017 SAG Awards. A number of Hollywood stars publicly spoke out on the issue, with many using their time on the podium to condemn the new order.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the first to mention the ban, while accepting the award for best actress in a comedy series on Sunday night. "I want you all to know that I am the daughter of an immigrant," she told the crowd. "My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France, and I am an American patriot and I love this country."

The cast of Orange is the New Black highlighted the many nationalities that make up their diverse cast as they took to the stage to receive the best comedy ensemble award, with Taylor Schilling stating: "We know it’s going to be up to us and all of you probably too to keep telling stories that show what unites us is stronger than the forces that seek to divide us."


Orange is the New Black cast at the SAG Awards

Orange is the New Black highlighted its diverse cast

Moonlight star Mahershala Ali gave a powerful speech as he accepted his award for outstanding performance in a dramatic role. "I think what I have learned from working on Moonlight is we see what happens when you persecute people: they fold into themselves," he said.


Ali at the SAG Awards© Photo: Getty Images

Mahershala Ali's speech was powerful and emotional

He told the crowd: "My mother is an ordained minister. I am a Muslim. She didn't do backflips when I called to tell her I had converted 17 years ago. But I tell you now, you put things to the side. And I am able to see her, and she is able to see me. We love each other and the love has grown. And that stuff in minutia – it's not that important."


Ashton Kutcher, meanwhile, chose to address the refugee ban at the very start of the show. "Good evening, fellow SAG members and everyone at home and everyone in airports that belong in my America," said the star, whose wife Mila Kunis came to America as a refugee from the Soviet-controlled Ukraine. "You are a part of the fabric of who we are and we love you and we welcome you."

Ashton Kutcher at the SAG awards© Photo: Getty Images

Ashton Kutcher mentioned Donald Trump's controversial ban at the start of the show

In fact, almost every winner used their moment on stage to take a stand against the new president. From Sarah Paulson, who urged people to donate to the ACLU, to Lily Tomlin referencing the doomsday clock being brought forward and wondering what sign she should make for the next protest - Hollywood's position on the immigration ban is clear.

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