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Ukraine was on the minds of many at the 28th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) on Sunday night.
Several Hollywood stars paid their respects and offered prayers for those affected by the Russian invasion. The ceremony took place at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif., and aired on both TNT and TBS.
Lady Gaga, who appeared for her film ‘House of Gucci’, revealed on the red carpet that she was “truly honored to be here”, but noted that those in Ukraine should be remembered during this sumptuous affair.
“It’s a beautiful night where we can all celebrate art together and celebrate each other,” the 35-year-old told E!’s “Live from the Red Carpet” show. “So much is happening in the world and my heart goes out to Ukraine. I think tonight we should all sit down in gratitude.”
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Michael Douglas shared a similar sentiment while sporting a blue and yellow pocket square representing the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
“It’s not the LA Rams,” the 77-year-old told Access Hollywood, referring to the Los Angeles football team that wears the same colors.
“If ever there was a time for us to appreciate what real democracy is, I’m so proud of what these people in this country have done,” the actor said.
Like Douglas, several participants used props to show their support for Ukraine. Tyler Perry, Shari Belafonte, Douglas Hodge and Jon Bernthal wore blue and yellow ribbons. Actress Greta Lee wore a yellow and blue Marc Jacobs dress. Lisa Ann Walter pinned a blue and yellow bodice to her dress.
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Some artists have used their speeches to address the ongoing conflict.
“First of all, I would like to send my prayers to the people of Ukraine,” Fran Drescher told the audience.
Jean Smart, who won Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series, concluded her speech with “Please everyone, pray for peace.”
“My heart is with our international family all over the world right now, who are fighting for their safety and freedom,” echoed Jessica Chastain, who won Best Actress in a Motion Picture.
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Brian Cox, who stood alongside his “Succession” cast, described the invasion as “truly awful.”
“It’s something that came to me about what’s happening in Ukraine,” the 75-year-old said. “It’s really, really awful, really, really awful what’s going on. And it’s especially awful in terms of what affects other people, especially in our profession.”
“What really distressed me was what is happening in Russia to my fellow actors, actresses, performers and critics,” the actor explained. “They are being told on pain of high treason that they can’t say a word about Ukraine. And I think that’s pretty awful. I think we should all stand together and also for those people in Russia who don’t don’t like what’s going on, especially the artists.”
“I think we really should join them in celebrating them and hoping that they can actually make a difference. Because I believe they can,” he concluded his message.
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Cox also noted how Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was an artist before becoming the nation’s leader.
“The President of Ukraine was a comedian, you know, he was a wonderful comedic performer,” he said. “And we should respect that for him, and coming to the presidency is amazing.”
Like Cox, Michael Keaton praised the 44-year-old’s efforts.
“We have a fellow actor in Zelenskyy who deserves some credit tonight for leading the fight,” said the 70-year-old, who accepted the award for Male Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie.
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Laverne Cox, who served as E! News’ red carpet correspondence also addressed the dispute during its live coverage of the event.
“The performances we celebrate here tonight have brought you joy and inspiration this year,” the ‘Orange Is the New Black’ star said. “With everything 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.”
Andrew Garfield also commented that “it’s a tough day to celebrate”.
“Keeping what’s happening in Ukraine in our hearts is weird,” the actor admitted. “It’s really weird that we’re dressing up right now, but yeah, I’m so grateful to be here with our community – a community of love…”
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When opening the show, Leslie Odom Jr. addressed the conflict.
“Although tonight is a celebration, we all at the same time hold a place in our hearts for the people of Ukraine and send our thoughts, prayers and hopes for an imminent peace,” the actor said alongside his colleagues. -“Hamilton” Lin-stars Manuel Miranda and Daveed Diggs.
The SAG Awards are considered one of the most reliable predictors of the Oscars.
Ukrainian troops have slowed Russia’s advance on key towns, at least for now, while a Ukrainian delegation arrived at the border with Belarus on Monday for talks with Russian officials. European Union defense ministers were also due to meet to discuss how to get the weapons they promised to Ukraine. Meanwhile, Western sanctions triggered by the invasion sent the ruble plummeting, leading Russians to line up at banks and ATMs.
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Russia’s military assault on Ukraine entered its fifth day after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his nuclear forces to go on high alert, further increasing tensions. Kiev’s troops, overwhelmed but determined, slowed Russia’s advance and clung to the capital and other key towns – at least for now.
The explosions and gunfire that have disrupted life since the invasion began last week appeared to subside around Kiev overnight. Long queues formed outside supermarkets on Monday as residents were allowed out of bomb shelters and homes for the first time since a curfew imposed on Saturday.
The exact death toll is unclear, but Ukraine’s president says at least 16 children were killed and 45 others injured, among hundreds, if not thousands, of other victims. Millions of people have fled their homes or the country.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.