David Harbour received a standing ovation at last night’s Screen Actors’ Guild awards
Messages of empathy and acceptance dominated yesterday’s SAG awards, with actors defiant in their condemnation of President Trump.
The cast of hit Netflix sci-fi Stranger Things received the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. David Harbour, who plays Chief Jim Hopper, took to the stage to denounce the Trump administration in light of his executive order to ban refugees from seven Muslim nations entering the United States. “We will repel bullies,” he said to rapturous applause. “We will shelter freaks and outcasts - those who have no home.”
He continued: “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 weak and the disenfranchised and the marginalised.”
The actor could barely contain his emotions – his hand was visibly shaking as he held his speech notes – and neither could co-star Winona Ryder. “Winona Ryder's face during that speech was better than most of la la land,” wrote one Twitter user. “Never seen anyone experience as many emotions within a minute as #WinonaRyder did during @DavidKHarbour's #SAGAwards speech.”
Elsewhere, Moonlight star Mahershala Ali – who picked up the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role – used his acceptance speech to express solidarity with Muslims affected by the ban.
“What I was so grateful about in having the opportunity to play Juan, was playing a gentleman who saw a young man folding into himself as a result of the persecution of his community and taking that opportunity to uplift him and tell him he mattered. That he was okay. And accept him,” the actor said. “I hope that we do a better job of that.”
A convert to Islam after growing up in a strict Christian household, Ali also spoke of his mother’s reaction when he announced his conversion. “My mother is an ordained minister,” he explained. “She didn't do backflips when I called her and told her I converted 17 years ago. But we put things to the side and I was able to see her. She is able to see me. We love each other. The love has grown, and that stuff's minutia. It's not that important.”