Film, music icons fearless in slamming Trump at awards season
Los Angeles, Feb 13 (IANS) Be it by way of jibes or by expressing concern for the future generation — celebrated names like J.K. Rowling, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lopez and Stephen Fry from the US film and music industry have been unabashed in slamming US President Donald Trump during the ongoing awards season this year.
Several celebrities from showbiz had been part of anti-Trump rallies and protests even before he was elected President. But some names have been more vocal on key stages such as the Golden Globes, and as seen on Sunday, at the Grammy Awards and British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards stage.
Even though anti-Trump comments at the Golden Globe award ceremony were relatively restrained last month, Streep, one of the most outspoken progressives in Hollywood, mounted a powerful critique of Trump’s abilities. She had rued how a person who had once mocked a disabled reporter, was sitting on the most respected seat in the US.
Her bravado earned ire from Trump who instead called her “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood”.
This did not go in favour of Trump, who continues to get brickbats from members of the film industry for his remark.
At the 70th BAFTA Awards in London on Sunday, host Stephen Fry, took a swipe at Trump by welcoming Streep as “one of the greatest actresses of all-time”.
“Only a blithering idiot would think otherwise,” Fry quipped.
Actress Viola Davis also stood by her, and said: “Anyone who labels Meryl Streep ‘overrated’ doesn’t know anything about acting.”
It was earlier reported that BAFTA heads had fears that this year’s ceremony will be full of celebrities vocalising their political standpoint. And as expected, many of them spoke out.
At the red carpet, Rowling, who has been outspoken about the President in the past, was asked about the current political climate in the US.
She said: “Let’s just say it’s a very interesting time to be writing a franchise about the rise of a populist maniac.”
“Manchester By The Sea” writer-director Kenneth Lonergan told the audience at the gala how his 15-year-old daughter had woken in tears after Trump was elected US President, but had been on five protest marches since.
“I’m very, very proud of her,” he added at the BAFTA gala where he won the Best Original Screenplay for his movie.
At the Grammys, which were held here, celebrities like James Corden, Katy Perry and Lopez mocked Trump through speeches, performances and even their dressing styles.
The annual award show, which honours the best in the music industry, got political right before it started.
While gracing the red carpet, the musical group Highly Suspect made a political statement when its member Johnny Stevens wore a jacket with “Impeach” written on its back, people.com reported.
They were followed by Perry, who had supported Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton during the US election. The singer donned a white pantsuit while having a band on her arms which read: “Persist”.
Singer Skylar Grey also made her political agenda clear while carrying a pink LED-enabled clutch across which the words “Empowerment” and “Equality” were written.
The references to Trump and his decision to ban Muslims entering the US continued after the ceremony started.
In his opening monologue, host Corden said: “With President Trump, we don’t know what comes next.”
While presenting an award, Lopez said that artists’ voices were needed now.
“At this particular point in history, our voices are needed more than ever. This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal,” she said.
Popular rap group, A Tribe Called Quest, performed its single “We the people”, which included lyrics telling groups like blacks and Muslims, “You must go”.
During the performance, they added: “I want to thank President Agent Orange,” and made a reference to Trump’s immigration order.