There’s a slew of Oscars parties this weekend ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl of film. But some major groups are opting to take the attention focused on the filmmaking community at this precise moment and swivel it in another direction.
“As many of you know, I don’t do this very often. I’m not somebody that feels very comfortable using my public face for activism,” said multiple Oscar winner Jodie Foster, as she took the podium in front of a crowd of 1,500 Angelenos on Friday afternoon. “But this year is a very different year, and it’s time to show up!”
The actress-filmmaker was one of many celebs who addressed the crowd at the United Voices rally, which was hosted by United Talent Agency in lieu of the company’s annual pre-Academy Awards bash. Foster greeted a cheering audience, poking fun at the president’s administration and preaching about the importance of protecting our nation’s civil rights. “It’s time to engage. And as the very, very dead Frederick Douglass once said, ‘Anytime is a good time for illumination,’” she chirped.
Michael J. Fox took the podium and shared his own personal vendetta against Trump’s immigrant ban: “I love this country so much that I became a citizen 20 years ago. And it was a really tough process. It took about eight years from start to finish. And I complained about how long it took. My visa, my green card, and then finally my citizenship, I was sworn in a proud American,” he said. “There are people that are giving up everything — that have lost everything they have and are struggling to keep their families alive and keep food in their mouths and disease away from their bodies and took tremendous risk to get here — to get to this country. And then we say, ‘No.’”
Jodie Foster at the United Voices rally. (Photo: Getty Images)More
And it was hard to find the funny, even for those who make a living doing it.
“This United Voices rally was put together to support the creative community’s growing concern with anti-immigration sentiment in the United States of America and its potential chilling effect on the global exchange of ideas, not to mention freedom of expression,” said Keegan-Michael Key, who informed attendees that UTA has donated more than $320,000 to benefit the humanitarian efforts of the ACLU and the International Refugees Committee.
Foster ended her speech by challenging the crowd to show up, resist, and demand answers from their elected officials — and included a nod to Hollywood.
“I don’t know if you guys made it to the Women’s March. Did you make it? Well, that was something. There we were, standing all of us next to each other, and I’m 5 foot 3 — I can’t see anything! Except for thousands and thousands and thousands of people smiling and clapping and high-fiving and being gentle. … And at a certain point, when we couldn’t move forward, somebody said, ‘Let’s turn right!’ Everybody turned right, we walked for three blocks, we came upon an avenue where everything was stopped. Buses, people standing on top of their cars, dancing, playing hip-hop music, smiling, and picking up their kids in the street, holding them on their shoulders. That was a proud moment. It was a La La Land moment. It let the world know that we’re here by the hundreds of thousands, we were watching, and we matter.”
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