Celebrities call out Donald Trump at this year’s award show
Stephen Fry set the tone of the night, opening the awards show by making a dig at Donald Trump, referring to him as ‘a blithering idiot’ for calling Meryl Streep overrated, and then joking about the president’s close relationship with Putin, announcing, ‘Let’s find out who the Russians have decided have won.’
Ken Loach bagged the first BAFTA of the night, winning the award for Outstanding British Film for his gritty drama about benefits, I, Daniel Blake.
The 80-year-old director used his acceptance speech to take a stand, and it was incredibly empowering.
‘Thank you to the academy for endorsing the truths of what the film says, which hundreds and thousands of people in this country know’ he began, ‘the most vulnerable and poorest are treated by the Government with a callous brutality that is disgraceful, a brutality that extends to keeping out refugee children we promised to help and that’s a disgrace too.’
‘Films can do many things, they can entertain, terrify, they can make us laugh and tell us something about the real world we live in,’ he announced. ‘In that real world it’s getting darker and in the struggle that is coming between rich and poor and the wealthy and the privileged and the big corporations and politicians who speak for them.’
He continued: ‘The rest of us on the other side – film makers know which side they are on and despite the glitz and glamour of occasions like this, we are with the people.’
His sentiments were clearly shared by everyone in the room, with BAFTA winners from Emma Stone to Viola Davis taking their time on stage to comment on current affairs.
‘It feels like the world is going through a bit of a time right now’, began Emma Stone who won Best Leading Actress for her role in La La Land, going on to announce than ‘In a time that’s so decisive, I think it’s so special we are able to come together to celebrate the positive gift of creativity.”
Viola Davis’ acceptance speech for her supporting role in Fences also took a political turn as she talked about her father’s death and quoted him in her speech.
She continued: ‘He said that our lives matter as African-Americans. The horse groomer, the sanitation worker, the people who grew up under the heavy brute of Jim Crow, the people who did not make it into history books but they have a story and those stories deserve to be told because they lived.’