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Actors Simon Helberg and Jocelyn Towne Protest Immigrant Ban on SAG Awards Red Carpet

Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards were replete with political protests of many kinds, from rousing acceptance speeches to pointed scripted lines and even red carpet statements.

Couple Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) and Jocelyn Towne made a statement of the stark visual kind, appearing on the red carpet in defiant protest of President Trump’s immigration ban on citizens and refugees from seven predominately Muslim countries.

Helberg walked the carpet holding a sign that read “REFUGEES WELCOME” while Towne had the words “LET THEM IN” emblazoned across her chest.

During the ceremony, other actors made statements too. On behalf of the cast of Stranger Things, David Harbour made a rousing speech in favour of tolerance and against bigotry, prompting a roar of approval and applause in the room. Julia Louis-Dreyfus described her father’s own immigrant journey fleeing religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France. She labelled the immigrant ban a “blemish” and “un-American”.

Mahershala Ali, who won the award for best supporting film actor for his role in Moonlight, described how working on the film taught him what “happens when you persecute people” and his own personal experience with reconciling religious divides.

“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.”