During what was a mostly apolitical ceremony — especially when compared with those of the awards season so far — Casey Affleck took his moment at the Spirit Awards podium to call out the Trump administrations’ “abhorrent” policies.
Affleck won best lead actor at the independent film awards on Saturday for his role in “Manchester by the Sea.”
After Affleck grabbed his trophy and gave initial thanks, he expressed some hesitation about saying anything political.
“Now I’m going to do something that I know I shouldn’t do,” he said, sounding trepidatious. “I should just whisper it in the bathroom, and I have whispered it to myself in the bathroom.”
Then he resolved, “But I feel like increasingly my kids don’t listen to me unless it’s something I say on TV.”
And, with that, Affleck took aim at the White House: “The policies of this administration are abhorrent and they won’t last,” he said to applause. “You don’t have to clap out of obligation,” he told the audience.
“They’re really un-American,” he said, wearing the grizzly beard that has followed him throughout his awards season run. Then self-consciousness seemed to sink in once again. “I know this feels preachy and boring and I’m preaching to the choir, but I’m just lending my voice to the chorus,” he said.
After leaving the stage, Affleck was asked by reporters to expand on his comments. The actor made another political statement by wearing a shirt printed with the word “love” in Arabic.
“There’s a torrent of terrifying news that’s coming out of Washington every day, so it’s easy to feel like arts education might be less significant, but nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “We’re only going to dig ourselves out of this hole if we start advocating for kids and all of our children, and be more inclusive.”
Watch the video below:
Casey Affleck with his #SpiritAwards trophy backstage, the actor is wearing a shirt that says "love" in Arabic .@Variety pic.twitter.com/dLXThGD1X7
— Will Thorne (@WillHMThorne) February 26, 2017