Two-time Tony winner Bryan Cranston called out President Donald Trump’s claim that the “fake news media is … the enemy of the American people” when he accepted the best leading actor in a play award for his role in Network.
After Cranston thanked the cast and crew of Network and his wife during his acceptance speech, the actor spoke about his character in the production. “Howard Beale is a fictitious TV news man who found his way in the line of fire because of his pursuit of the truth,” he said.
“I would like to dedicate this to all of the real journalists around the world, both in the press, the print media, and also the broadcast media, who actually are in the line of fire with their pursuit of the truth,” Cranston continued. “The media is not the enemy of the people. Demagoguery is the enemy of the people.”
Trump has tweeted and stated multiple times that the “fake news media” is “the enemy of the people.”
Based on the 1976 film of the same name, Network follows journalist Howard Beale as the television network he was once employed by exploits him for their own profit.
To Kill a Mockingbird actress Celia Keenan-Bolger also got political while accepting the featured actress in a play Tony. “I grew up in a neighborhood where my grandparents had a cross burned on their front lawn because they were being welcoming to black families that were integrating into the neighborhood,” she said of her Detroit neighborhood. “They raised my mother and her siblings alongside those families and when my mother met my father, instead of moving to the suburbs, they raised me and my brother and my sister in that same neighborhood.”
Keenan-Bolger concluded that her childhood made her win for her role as Scout even more “moving.”
The 2019 Tony Awards were held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The ceremony was broadcast on CBS.