The 2017 SAG Awards took place on Sunday night and with all the madness happening all over the country, this year’s ceremony definitely reflected the tone.
The show, which is heavily predictive of Oscar wins, ran as smoothly as possible without a host to hold it all together. The stars were out in full force…most of them with important messages to share. Ashton Kutcher opened the show, welcoming viewers and “everyone in airports that belong in my America. You are a part of the fabric of who we are. And we love you, and we welcome you.”
Hidden Figures was a big winner of the night, taking home the award for Best Film Ensemble over other major movies like Moonlight. Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and the rest of the cast took the stage to accept the award, but not without a message regarding the state of our country. Taraji said to the audience, “This story is of unity and this story is about what happens when we put our differences aside … Love wins.”
Denzel Washington shocked everyone with his win for best actor for his role in Fences, and even appeared shocked himself. He joked, “You know, I am a God-fearing man. I’m supposed to have faith, but I didn’t have faith. God bless you all, all the other actors. I’d say, ‘You know, young boys are going to win, you ain’t going to win.’ So I didn’t even prepare. But I am prepared!”
Viola Davis was also a winner on Sunday night, taking home the award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Fences. However, her speech stood out from others, as she was one of few people to address Donald Trump‘s Muslim ban madness.
But one of the biggest winners of the night also had one of the most heartwarming speeches. Mahershala Ali, who seemed visibly emotional, won the award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Moonlight, and blew the crowd away with his speech. He said, “What I’ve learned from working on ‘Moonlight’ is, we see what happens when you persecute people. They fold into themselves. And 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 that he mattered and that he was O.K. and accept him and, uh — I hope that we do a better job of that.”
Ali continued, “My mother is an ordained minister. I’m a Muslim. She didn’t do back flips when I called her to tell her I converted 17 years ago. But I tell you now, we put things to the side, and I’m able to see her, she’s able to see me — we love each other, the love has grown, and that stuff is minutiae. It’s not that important.”
Check out the full list of winners here.