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Rita Moreno Accepts PGA Award by Defending Actors’ Freedom of Speech – The Hollywood Reporter


Not that any friends at Saturday evening’s PGA Awards wanted a reminder of Rita Moreno’s vivacity, she tipped them off anyway.

Feted by Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, Moreno took the stage and broke out in dance forward of accepting her Stanley Kramer Award for social justice work, shaking her shoulders and shimmying her method to the rostrum whereas Chastain did the identical. Whereas delivering a speech, Moreno stored the momentum going.

“I’m not an individual of non secular religion, however for me, movie has typically been a sacred textual content that has spurred me to observe what [Abraham Lincoln] known as the ‘higher angels of our nature,’” Moreno detailed. “In 1963, I sat on Abraham Lincoln’s steps, just a few ft from [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.]. I used to be there. … Due to an invite from Harry Belafonte, I used to be there to listen to the preacher’s dream. In seasons when income fall silent and statesmen reign, fortunately, filmmakers carry on preaching and by no means cease advocating for issues of fairness and justice.”

Producer and director Stanley Kramer, her award’s namesake, “was one such prophet who by no means shied from issues of social justice and fairness in his physique of labor,” the actress advised the group. Due to that, Moreno mentioned it’s so significant and gratifying to obtain such recognition and be related to Kramer’s legacy.

“I’m 90 now,” mentioned the legend who stars in the very best picture-nominated West Aspect Story for Steven Spielberg. “And dealing for a lifetime, and this enterprise has taken tenacity and onerous work. Advocating for problems with social justice for the final 60 years has been exhausting, exhilarating and life-giving. Had it not been for these units and the hearth set inside me as a younger lady, I will surely not be right here tonight receiving this wondrous honor.”

She then praised Spielberg and author Tony Kushner for the difference, a collaboration that tells “the immigrant story with integrity, fleshing out of characters and respecting ethnicities” in such a approach that it “put logs on this hearth that was inside me.”

Moreno closed her transient speech by countering critics who take goal at actors who use their platforms to talk out on points which are significant to them.

“We’re within the throes of yet one more award season, and a few in our tribe have been recognized to make use of a highlight to advocate for points addressed of their nominated works — local weather change, common well being care, voting rights and LGBTQ advocacy, and lots of, many others,” Moreno defined. “And I do know that in some audiences, that has been recognized to create, how shall I say — a gentle discomfort? For others, coronary heart palpitations. ‘In any case, who’re these actors, these Hollywood sorts assume they’re, huh? Residents in a democracy?’”

To that, finish Moreno mentioned bluntly: “Properly, fuck ’em. Freedom of speech belongs to all of us actors. And let’s not overlook comedians are patriots, too — simply look within the path of Mr. Zelensky in Ukraine.”

With that, Moreno closed her transient and literal spin within the highlight by saying, “Thanks, and I promise I’ll be extra charming on one other event.”



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