Several Hollywood stars in attendance at the 28th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards last night showed their support for Ukraine following the recent invasion of the country by Russian troops. Such performers as Brian Cox, Michael Keaton, Lady Gaga, Laverne Cox and Leslie Odom Jr. gave tributes and offered prayers for those impacted by the Russian invasion during the ceremony, which was held at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.
While accepting the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for Succession, Cox called the invasion “truly, truly awful.” He also praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who he noted is a former comic performer.
Cox also expressed concern for Russian actors, writers and critics. “They are told under pain of high treason that they cannot say a word about Ukraine and I think that is pretty awful,” said the actor, who also asked the audience to stand in a show of support for their fellow creative community.
In his acceptance speech for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series for his role in Dopesick, Michael Keaton also mentioned the Ukrainian president. “We have a fellow actor in Zelensky who deserves some credit tonight for fighting the fight,” he said.
“This is a beautiful night where we all get to celebrate art together and celebrate each other,” Lady Gaga told Laverne Cox during a conversation for E!’s Live from the Red Carpet on the red carpet before the ceremony began.
The singer-actress, who was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for House of Gucci, added: “There’s so much going on in the world and my heart really goes out to Ukraine. I think tonight we should all really sit in the gratitude of this.”
Cox, who served as E! News’ red carpet correspondence, also addressed the conflict during her live coverage of the SAG Awards. The former Orange Is the New Black star said: “With all this going on in the world, it can sometimes be difficult to find light and hope. Tonight, our hearts are with our friends in Ukraine. We stand with them and pray for their safety.”
Leslie Odom Jr. also addressed the conflict during the show’s opening, alongside his Hamilton co-stars Lin-Manuel Miranda and Daveed Diggs. “While tonight is a celebration we are all at the same time holding a place in our hearts for the people of Ukraine and sending our thoughts, prayers, and hopes for impending peace,” he said.
Several attendees also used accessories that were blue and yellow, which represent the colors of the Ukrainian flag, to show support for the country. Tyler Perry, Michael Douglas, Shari Belafonte, Douglas Hodge and Jon Bernthal wore blue and yellow ribbons. Actress Greta Lee wore a yellow and blue Marc Jacobs dress, and Lisa Ann Walter pinned a blue and yellow corsage to her dress. Besides the SAG Awards, Actors Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are promising to match every donation up to $1 million for refugees fleeing war in Ukraine.
Ukrainian troops have slowed Russia’s advance on key cities, at least for now, while a Ukrainian delegation arrived at the border with Belarus today for talks with Russian officials, FOX News is reporting. European Union defense ministers were also to meet, to discuss how to get weaponry they have pledged into Ukraine. Meanwhile, Western sanctions triggered by the invasion sent the ruble plummeting, leading Russians to line up at banks and ATMs.
The Russian military assault on Ukraine went into its fifth day after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered that his nuclear forces be put on increased alert. Kyiv’s outgunned but determined troops slowed Russia’s advance and held onto the capital and other key cities.
Explosions and gunfire that have disrupted life since the invasion began last week appeared to subside around Kyiv overnight. As a resul, residents were allowed out of bomb shelters and homes for the first time since a curfew imposed Saturday.
Exact death tolls are unclear, but President Zelensky says at least 16 children have been killed and another 45 were wounded. Millions have fled homes or the country.