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Awards

BAFTA Awards Get Political: Stars Speak Out (and Take Dig) at American Politics

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Things got political at Sunday’s 2017 BAFTA Awards.

Before the annual awards show even began, stars were vocal about the strained political situation in the U.S. after President Donald Trump was sworn into office last month. During the actual awards show, many winners and presenters took time to send out strong political messages.

“I feel great about it,” Viola Davis said while walking the red carpet Sunday in London. “I feel like it’s everyone’s duty and privilege to speak out against political injustice.”

During the show, English actor Stephen Fry joked that Trump was a “blithering idiot” for calling Meryl Streep “overrated” after her passionate Golden Globes acceptance speech.

“Unquestionably one of the greatest actresses of all time. Only a blithering idiot would think otherwise,” he said, before Streep later gave him a kiss.

Davis, who won best supporting actress for her turn in Fences, also came to Streep’s defense, calling her “the most honorable, the most accessible human being you could want to meet.”

“Anyone who labels Meryl Streep an overrated actress obviously doesn’t know anything about acting. That’s just the way it is. And that’s not even just directed towards Donald Trump. That’s directed towards anyone,” she told reporters in the press room following her win. “This is someone who is the master at her skill and she has lasted for 40 years — in a very difficult profession might I add.
She continued: “I have never met anyone who has been in her presence who she has not made feel like a star in their own lives. That is a rock. Very humble, very gracious human being.”
BAFTA chair Jane Lush took a jab at Trump’s plan to build a wall at the Mexican border, joking that his plan could bleed into Hollywood.

“Such is the demand for British talent in Hollywood, I worry that someone might build a wall across the Atlantic in a bid to keep us out.”

When Justin Hurwitz took the stage to collect the award for best original music for his work in La La Land, he made sure to thank a special someone for helping him win. “Thank you to the academy— or Russia. Either way it’s a huge honor.”

James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

 

And during Emma Stone‘s acceptance for best actress in a leading role for La La Land, she said the awards ceremony was a welcome distraction during such “divisive” times.

“I don’t know if you’ve realized this but right now this country and the U.S. and the world seems to be going through a bit of a time. Just a bit,” she said. “In a time that’s so divisive, I think it’s really special that we are all able to come together tonight thanks to BAFTA to celebrate the positive effect of creativity and how we can transcend borders and how we can help people to feel a little less alone.”