×

Tom Hanks Relieves Post-Election Fears: ‘We Are Going to Be All Right’

The night was supposed to be all about him, but he made it about us.

Tom Hanks used the occasion of his tribute from the Museum of Modern Art’s film benefit, presented by Chanel, on Tuesday night to deliver a Tom Hanks-ian monologue addressing the despair many in the entertainment industry feel about Donald Trump’s election as president. It was the climactic scene from the third act of many a Hanks movie, and it was just what the audience at MoMA needed to hear.

Hanks never mentioned Trump by name, but there was no mistaking the point of his remarks. He referenced “Schoolhouse Rock” and Bruce Springsteen, and he emphasized the sanctity of the Constitution no matter what. To wit:

“We are going to be all right. America has been in worse places than we are at right now,” Hanks said. “In my own lifetime our streets were in chaos, our generations were fighting each other tooth and nail, and every dinner table ended up being as close to a fist fight as human families will allow.”

“We have been in a place where we have looked at our leaders and wondered what the hell they were thinking of. We’ve had moments with the administrations and politicians and senators and governors in which we have we’ve asked ourselves ‘Are they lying to us or do they really believe in this?’ That’s all right.

“We have this magnificent thing that is in place. It’s a magnificent document and it starts off with these phrases that if you’re smart enough you’ve memorized in school or you just read enough so that you know it by heart, or you watched those little things on ABC where they taught you little songs in order to sing, and the song goes (singing): ‘We the people/in order to form a more perfect union/established to ensure domestic tranquility/to provide for the common defense/promote the general welfare,’ and you go on and on. That document is going to protect us over and over again whether or not our neighbors preserve, protect, and defend it themselves.

“We are going to be all right because we constantly get to tell the world who we are. We constantly get to define ourselves as Americans. We do have the greatest country in the world. We move at a slow pace. We have the greatest country in the world because we are always moving towards a more perfect union.

“That journey never ceases, it never stops. Sometimes, to quote a Bruce Springsteen song, it’s one step forward two steps back, but we still aggregately move forward. We who are a week into wondering what the hell just happened will continue to move forward. We have to choose to do so, but we will move forward because if we do not move forward. What is to be said of us?

“We will take everything that has been handed to us as Americans and we will turn our nation and we will turn the future and we will turn all the work that we have in before us into some grand thing of beauty,” Hanks said, to a standing ovation.

Hanks’ comments were preceded by a slew of friends and colleagues paying brief tributes to the two-time Oscar winner. Emma Watson, his co-star in an upcoming movie, was on hand, as were Aaron Eckhart (his costar in the Oscar buzz movie “Sully”) and Steve Martin, along with taped messages from Oprah Winfrey, Ron Howard, and “Sully” director Clint Eastwood.

More Biz

  • UTA

    UTA Launches Sports Division With LeBron James' Agent

    UTA is diving into the sports arena through an investment in Klutch Sports Group, the agency that represents LeBron James and other stars. Klutch Sports founder Rich Paul will serve as head of the newly created UTA Sports wing in addition to running his own banner. Paul launched Klutch Sports in 2012 in Cleveland. UTA [...]

  • New York's Brooklyn Bowl Celebrates 10

    New York's Brooklyn Bowl Celebrates 10 Years With Plans to Expand

    In the middle of a conversation about the tenth anniversary of Brooklyn Bowl — the live-music-and-bowling venue that opened a second location in Las Vegas in 2014 — owner Peter Shapiro casually mentions that he’s planning on opening a third location in the U.S. within the next 12 months. He declines to provide any more [...]

  • Rob Stringer

    Sony Unites Recorded Music and Publishing Under One Company

    Sony has created Sony Music Group, an umbrella for both its recorded-music operation — Sony Music Entertainment — and its publishing company — Sony/ATV — under SME chief Rob Stringer, according to an internal document obtained by Variety. The move will take effect on Aug. 1. A source close to the situation tells Variety that [...]

  • Ken Ehrlich Jane Ortner Education Award,

    Grammy Awards Producer Shuffle: Ben Winston to Take Over From Ken Ehrlich in 2021

    As Variety reported in December, Ben Winston will take the reins of the Grammy Awards as executive producer in 2021 after longtime telecast leader Ken Ehrlich completes his 40th ceremony next year. Winston has become a prolific producer for CBS and other outlets since he moved to the U.S. nearly five years ago to launch [...]

  • PUBG - Xbox One

    Chinese Streaming Firm DouYu Raises $775 Million on NASDAQ Debut

    Chinese live-streaming firm DouYu has set a price of $11.50 per ADS share for its stockmarket debut on NASDAQ. Company CEO Chen Shaojie was expected to ring the exchange’s opening bell. The share sale will raise a total of $775 million, and provide the company $517 million of fresh capital. At that price DouYu would [...]

  • Lenny Bruce (1925-1966) social critic and

    Paul Krassner Recalls Lenny Bruce, Cavalier Magazine 50 Years Later

    Men’s magazine Cavalier was launched by Fawcett Publications in 1952 (motto: “For the American Male”). It was published the year before Playboy, to which it has often been compared. Imagine that this was a bastion of cutting-edge comic literature. Back in the day, Cavalier tried to be seen as slightly hipper, more youthful and considered [...]

  • LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet

    LiveXLive Names AOL and MTV Vet Dermot McCormack President

    Live entertainment digital media company LiveXLive Media today announced that AOL and MTV veteran Dermot McCormack has been named president of the company. According to the announcement, McCormack will lead the business and creative operations of LiveXLive, effective immediately. McCormack previously served as AOL’s Global President of Video and Studios, where he oversaw the video [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content