The new red carpet! Jodie Foster and Michael J. Fox lead rally against Trump’s immigration ban instead of the traditional pre-Oscars party as Hollywood gears up for the most political show EVER
- Jodie Foster, Michael J. Fox and Keegan Michael Key among the 1,200 to protest in Hollywood on Friday in support of immigrant rights
- Protest took place outside United Talent Agency headquarters in Beverly Hills
- The talent agency scrapped its annual pre-Oscar party in favor of the rally
- Oscar-nominated Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi spoke via video from Tehran
While most celebrities are busy gearing for Oscar events this weekend, the likes of Jodie Foster, Michael J. Fox and Keegan Michael Key opted to protest in Hollywood over Donald Trump‘s recent immigration orders.
The stars were among 1,200 people to take part in the rally organized by the United Talent Agency on Friday outside its headquarters in Beverly Hills.
UTA, one of the world’s largest talent agencies, chose to scrap its annual pre-Oscars party in protest at Trump’s immigration travel ban and to show its support for freedom of speech and artistic expression.
Taking to the rally stage, Foster said she’s never been comfortable using her public face for activism and has always found the small ways to serve, but that this year is different.
‘It’s time to show up,’ she said. ‘It’s a singular time in history. It’s time to engage. And as the very, very dead Frederick Douglass once said ‘any time is a good time for illumination’.’
‘It doesn’t matter where you born, who you voted for… All the colors in the identity rainbow – this is our time to resist,’ she said.
‘It is the time to show up and demand answers. It’s all of us trying to tell our elected officials to do their job.’
The rally also featured speeches from Michael J. Fox and Keegan-Michael Key and performances by DJ Cassidy and rock band the X Ambassadors.
Fox, who became a United States citizen some 20 years ago, remembered being annoyed at the 8-year process to citizenship and now wonders what he was complaining about.
‘I’m proud to stand here today in support of values and principles that I admire,’ Fox told the crowd.
‘You have people who have given up everything, who have lost everything they have. They are struggling to keep their families alive and keep food in their mouths and disease away from their bodies and took tremendous risk to get to this country, and we say no?’
Key said the event was intended to ‘support the creative community’s growing concern with anti-immigration sentiment in the United States of America and its potential chilling effect on the global exchange of ideas, not to mention freedom of expression.’
He welcomed all, including a handful of Trump supporters, because he said ‘this is America, where you get to believe what you want.’
One Trump supporter walked through the crowd in a Make America Great Again hat early on saying ‘you’re not going to block me.’
For the most part, however, the crowd was subdued, civil and attentive to the celebrity speakers.
The talent agency organized the nearly two-hour rally in lieu of its annual Oscars party.
The Oscar-nominated Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi also spoke via video from Tehran to praise the show of unity among the cinema community.
Farhadi, who is represented by the agency in Hollywood, previously said he would not travel to Los Angeles for Sunday’s ceremony as a result of Trump’s Muslim travel ban.
The film’s lead actress, Taraneh Alidoosti, is also boycotting the awards event.
‘It is comforting to know that at a time when some politicians are trying to promote hate by creating divisions between cultures, religions and nationalities, the cinema community has joined the people in a common show of unity to show its opposition,’ Farhadi said.
‘I hope this unity will continue and spread to fight other injustices. Filmmakers can break stereotypes around the world by turning their cameras to capture shared human qualities.’
UTA previously announced that it was donating $250,000 to the ACLU and the International Rescue Committee and has set up a crowd funding page to solicit more donations. At press time, over $320,000 had been raised.