John Legend Slams Trump at PGA Awards, Mark Burnett Booed

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John Legend

"Our vision of America is directly antithetical to that of President Trump. I want to specifically tonight reject his vision and affirm that America has to be better than that," said Legend.

The Producers Guild of America on Saturday night held its annual awards ceremony in Los Angeles following a day that saw protests at airports across the country in response to President Donald Trump's recent restrictions on immigration.

The news of the #MuslimBan resistance resulted in a number of honorees and notables at the PGA Awards to offer their sentiments on the issue.

In kicking off the evening, PGA president Lori McCreary said, "For now, more than ever, we have the need, the ability, to create content that expresses our true values. ... Now more than ever we need to remember the words on the Statue of Liberty," she said in reference to the inscription that reads, in part: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

John Legend addressed Trump while onstage to introduce a clip from La La Land: "Los Angeles is the home of so many immigrants, so many creative people, so many dreamers. Our America is big, it is free, and it is open to dreamers of all races, all countries, all religions. Our vision of America is directly antithetical to that of President Trump. I want to specifically tonight reject his vision and affirm that America has to be better than that."

Presenting their father Tom Rothman with the Milestone Award, Elizabeth and Nora Rothman also subtly protested Trump as they took to the stage sporting pink "pussy hats," receiving a standing ovation for their fashion statement.

While presenting the Stanley Kramer Award, which honors a film that helps raise public awareness of important social issues, to Loving, Thandie Newton said, "We may lose the small battles, but we will win the big war." Colin Firth, one of the film's producers, accepted the award saying, "This is for Richard and Mildred Loving, the ACLU and for everyone whose families are being separated by the discrimination of others."

Accepting the best documentary feature award for O.J.: Made in America, Ezra Edelman acknowledged, "This is a tough day," and seconded Legend's remarks. The son of a mixed-race couple, he went on to say, "I'm standing here as a direct descendant of the Loving vs. Virginia decision, and it's heartening to be standing here on a night when we are honoring that incredible film and those two incredible people, and in a year when we've been honoring a movie like Moonlight that does focus on a character that is so often overlooked and marginalized, a movie like Arrival that is about inclusion and communication. Please, all the producers in the room, please keep telling stories about our humanity, about our country, about the world that we want to live in."

The air in the room appeared to shift as Celebrity Apprentice producer Mark Burnett accepted the award for outstanding producer of competition television. Scattered boos and murmurs could be heard in the audience.

20th Century Women producer Megan Ellison, upon receiving the Visionary Award, told the crowd, "The scariest thing we can do now, or ever, is to shut up."

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