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Rob Reiner Calls Trump Presidency ‘Last Battle of the Civil War’ at AAFCA Awards

Actor, writer, director and activist Rob Reiner wasn’t afraid to speak out about present-day racial disharmony and social injustice at Wednesday night’s AAFCA Awards, presented by the African American Film Critics Assn. at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood.

“(Donald Trump) gets into office and there are good people on both sides in Charlottesville and there are people coming from shithole countries and it goes on and on, and you see the people he hires that are in his administration and we see that this has now become the last battle of the Civil War,” Reiner told the room while accepting an award for social justice.

The “LBJ” and “Ghosts of Mississippi” director is one of the more vocal celebrities to criticize the president, noting, “I’ve taken a very strong stance not only against him, but on his lack of response to the Russian invasion of our democracy. The Russian trolls and the bots, they are not happy with me.”

His official Twitter account was inactive for a few days after it was hacked, and posted tweets in favor of the president after the election. When asked if he knew who the source of the hack was, Reiner told Variety, “You never know. It came somewhere through Turkey and I’m not sure how that happened, but I was down for like five days.”

On the carpet, Reiner also gave kudos to Jordan Peele for his storytelling in “Get Out.” A true comic, Peele also managed to have the room in stitches when he reached the podium. One anecdote detailed his favorite reactions from people watching the film, including Chance the Rapper.

Peele made three trips to the stage throughout the night to accept multiple trophies, including best picture, best director and the org’s horizon award. In one of his acceptance speeches, Peele spoke about the cruel irony of smoking marijuana while developing his Oscar-nominated film.

“I’ve seen Ava (DuVernay)’s documentary, ’13th,'” Peele said. “And I realized at that point that there were people getting locked up and being taken out of the world and taken from their families for holding less weed than I was smoking when I was writing this movie. I realize that’s darkly funny, but I began to cry and from that moment forward, this movie meant so much more than just a fun way to provoke conversation. It became a cry for justice.”

DuVernay was also on hand to receive awards along with best actress winner Frances McDormand. The Wednesday night ceremony was preceded by the org’s Special Achievement Luncheon, which honored Peele, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, Alcon Entertainment co-founders Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove as well as L.A. Film Critics Assn. president Claudia Puig.

Event emcee Nischelle Turner, AAFCA president Gil Robertson IV, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele Buckner/Variety/Rex/Shutterstock
Courtney B Vance, Frances McDormand and AAFCA co-founder Shawn Edwards Buckner/Variety/Rex/Shutterstock
Ava DuVernay Buckner/Variety/Rex/Shutterstock

Here’s the full list of winners of the 2018 AAFCA Awards:

Stanley Kramer Award for Social Justice: Rob Reiner

Horizon Award: Jordan Peele

Innovator Award: Ava DuVernay

Richard Wesley Screenplay Award: Jordan Peele

Best Picture: Get Out (Universal Pictures)

Best Director: Jordan Peele – “Get Out” (Universal Pictures)

Best Actor: Daniel Kaluuya –”Get Out” (Universal Pictures)

Best Actress: Frances Mcdormand – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” (Fox Searchlight)

Best Supporting Actor: Laurence Fishburne – “Last Flag Flying” (Amazon Studios/Lionsgate)

Best Supporting Actress: Tiffany Haddish – “Girls Trip” (Universal Pictures)

Best Comedy: “Girls Trip” (Universal Pictures)

Best Ensemble: “Detroit” (Annapurna Pictures)

Best Independent: “Crown Heights” (Amazon Studios/IFC Films)

Best Animated: “Coco” (Disney/Pixar)

Best Documentary: “Step” (Fox Searchlight)

Best Foreign: “The Wound” (Kino Lorber)

Best Screenplay: “Get Out” (Universal Pictures)

Best Song: “It Aint Fair” — from the film “Detroit” – The Roots Featuring Bilal (Motown Records)

Best New Media: “Mudbound” (Netflix)

Best TV Series (Comedy): “Black-ish” (ABC)

Best TV Series (Drama): “Queen Sugar” (OWN)

Breakout: Lakeith Stanfield – “Crown Heights” (Amazon Studios/IFC Films)

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