Screen Actors Guild award winners, artists, athletes and others protest US travel ban
2 February 2017
President Donald Trump’s executive order banning the entry of refugees and visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen—has aroused widespread outrage and protest, both in the US and around the world.
Many prominent performers, artists and athletes have spoken out since the ban was announced last Friday.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards ceremony on Sunday night was the occasion for numerous actors and others to state their opposition. Actor Ashton Kutcher opened the event, to considerable applause, by greeting fellow SAG-AFTRA members “and everyone at home—and everyone in airports that belong in my America [referring to those detained by US immigration officials]. You are a part of the fabric of who we are, and we love you and we welcome you.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who received an award for her role on HBO’s Veep, told the audience, “I want you all to know that I’m the daughter of an immigrant. My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France. And I’m an American patriot and I love this country. And because I love this country, I am horrified by its blemishes. And this immigrant ban is its blemish and it’s un-American.”
Mahershala Ali, a fine actor who was in a number of films in 2016, received an award for Moonlight. Speaking of the latter, he referred to learning about “what happens when you persecute people. They fold into themselves.” He went on to suggest that were two ways of dealing with differences among people, “There’s an opportunity to see the texture of that person, the characteristics that make them unique—and then there’s the opportunity to…