Oliver Stone Gives Impassioned Speech at WGA Awards: It’s Not Just Trump, ‘But a System’

Oliver Stone WGA Awards
David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

The Writers Guild Awards on Sunday night took a cue from the rest of awards season in being fairly Trump-heavy, including several shots at the commander-in-chief. But Oliver Stone, who was on hand at the WGAW ceremony to accept the Laurel Award, gave a more bipartisan critique of America in an impassioned message to young filmmakers.

After being introduced by James Wood, Stone told reminded filmmakers that “you can be critical of your government and your society.”

“You don’t have to fit in,” the Oscar-winner went on. “It’s fashionable now to take shots at Republicans and Trump and avoid the Obamas and Clintons. But remember this: In the 13 wars we’ve started over the last 30 years and the $14 trillion we’ve spent, and the hundreds of thousands of lives that have perished from this earth, remember that it wasn’t one leader, but a system, both Republican and Democrat. Call it what you will: the military industrial money media security complex. It’s a system that has been perpetuated under the guise that these are just wars justifiable in the name of our flag that flies so proudly.”


WGA Award winners Patton Oswalt

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Stone continued that our “country has become more prosperous for many but in the name of that wealth we cannot justify our system as a center for the world’s values. But we continue to create such chaos and wars. No need to go through the victims, but we know we’ve intervened in more than 100 countries with invasion, regime change, economic chaos. Or hired war. It’s war of some kind. In the end, it’s become a system leading to the death of this planet and the extinction of us all.”

He concluded with advice based on his own experiences. “I’ve fought these people who practice war for most of my life. It’s a tiring game. And mostly you’ll get your a– kicked. With all the criticism and insults you’ll receive, and the flattery too, it’s important to remember, if you believe in what you’re saying and you can stay the course, you can make a difference,” he said.

“I urge you to find a way to remain alone with yourself, listen to your silences, not always in a writer’s room. Try to find not what the crowd wants so you can be successful, but try instead to find the true inner meaning of your life here on earth, and never give up on your heart in your struggle for peace, decency, and telling the truth.”

Stone has never been one to shy away from politics — to say the very least. During a speech at the Gotham Independent Film Awards in November, the “Snowden” director made a point to reference national security under a Trump administration. “The surveillance state, ‘1984,’ cyberwarfare, drone warfare is with us,” he said at the time. He’s been open about his political beliefs, and voted for Jill Stein in the 2016 presidential election.

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  1. Vasquez1992 says:


  2. IT--II--IT says:

    INTEL RUN ‘controlled’ – – ‘opposition’ stalks ON !

    So does the RED CHINA TREASON consolidation —— – – –

  3. chopp5 says:

    So sick of political lectures from Hollywood. Enough, already!

  4. Liza says:

    Stone is a talented, thoughtful man. He is also pretentious and self-righteous, but then, so is much of “Hollywood.”

  5. Johnny Edinburgh says:

    He’s being far too thoughtful and logical for most of the people that are still in complete meltdown since November.

  6. harry georgatos says:

    SNOWDEN only flirted with controversy on a superficial bland level of inert film-making without a solid punch to be found nowhere in a clumsy narrative of drugged boredom upon the viewer. This is not the Oliver Stone at the height of his film-making prowess that was JFK. After SAVAGES there was the glimmer of hope that SNOWDEN would have hit the heights of JFK. SNOWDEN is nothing more then a telemovie shot on bland digital cameras.

    • Brian Moucka says:

      I respect your right to comment. But, the consensus is that the film, ‘Snowden’ is anything but clumsy, boring or bland. It’s a smart film that has potent messages on many political and social levels. Stone is brilliant.

      • harry georgatos says:

        Snowden 61% on rotten tomatoes. Box office dud. Will break even with international sales on cable, free to air tv and home entertainment.

        No ones a bigger Oliver Stone fan then me. Wanted Snowden to reach the accolades and praise of JFK. Great material that needed a more bombastic highly paranoid nature of disturbance then a run of the mill approach to the material

        Wish Oliver Stone made Mission:Impossible 2 from a complete different story to the John Woo fiasco.

        Stone deserves all the awards he’s getting as most of his filmography are masterworks. Waiting for the next Oliver Stone film

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