Oscars 2017: Jodie Foster Joins United Voices Rally to Protest Against Donald Trump
Actors Jodie Foster and Michael J. Fox have led an anti-Trump protest two days before the Oscars in Beverly Hills.
The United Voices rally was staged by Hollywood’s United Talent Agency instead of its usual pre-Oscars party.
Jodie Foster said she rarely spoke out in public but that it was now “time to show up”.
Michael J. Fox told the crowd “we are the lucky ones” and that he wanted to “share a bit of that luck” with refugees who want to enter the United States.
The Canadian-born star, who became a US citizen two decades ago, showed only relatively small signs of the Parkinson’s Disease he has lived with since 1991.
Michael J. Fox added that he believed “in the power of the arts to change not just our hearts but the world”.
Jodie Foster, who has won Oscars for The Silence of the Lambs and The Accused, said the rally was “exactly the way to celebrate our industry, to celebrate all of you, to celebrate artistic expression and our commitment to humanities on screen and off”.
The actress did not air her views in public often, she told the crowd during her impassioned speech.
“I’m not somebody who’s very comfortable using my public face for activism.
“And so in my life I’ve found the small ways, much like most of you, to serve and to show up and to give somebody a lift at the bottom of the hill when they’re going to the top.
“But this year is a very different year and it’s time to show up. It’s a singular time in history. It’s time to engage.”
The rally comes ahead of an Academy Awards ceremony that is likely to be highly politically charged.
President Donald Trump has previously been dismissive of celebrity protests and of stars who have criticized him, such as Meryl Streep.
The rally was also shown a video message from Oscar-nominated Iranian film director Asghar Farhadi, who has said he is staying away from February 26 ceremony following President Trump’s attempt to ban travel from Iran and six other mainly Muslim countries.
Also on February 24, all the nominees for best foreign language film – including Asghar Farhadi – issued a joint statement denouncing the current “climate of fanaticism and nationalism”.