The 2017 Emmy’s: A Platform for Political Discussion

At the 2017 Emmy’s hosted by Stephen Colbert on Sunday, Sept. 17, there were multiple instances in which political issues were addressed. In a political climate as charged as it is now, it is expected that celebrities use their public platform to create conversation about what is truly happening to our country.

Amidst the entrance of former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and Colbert directly addressing President Trump by saying, “Hello sir. Thank you for joining us. Looking forward to the tweets,” there were many important topics addressed at the awards ceremony.

Not every speaker spoke directly at the current controversial government status, but many used small comments to attack it.

John Lithgow, of “The Crown,” mentioned how his character, Winston Churchill, showed leadership and stated, “In these crazy times, his life reminds us what courage and leadership in government looks like,” during his best supporting actor acceptance speech.

Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin were presenters at the ceremony and decided to take a moment to recognize the similarities between their 1980 movie “9 to 5” and today’s political turmoil.

“In 1980, we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot boss,” Fonda began. “And in 2017 we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot boss,” Tomlin finished. These powerful, well-known and well-loved actresses made a beautiful point in that we are not controlled by Trump; we will continue to fight for our rights and our nation.

In different fashion, Nicole Kidman decided to sidestep politics, and instead use her acceptance speech for “Big Little Lies” to address something that is of equal importance.

“We shone a light on domestic abuse,” Kidman said. “It is a complicated, insidious disease. It exists far more than we allow ourselves to know; it is filled with shame and secrecy, and by you acknowledging me with this award, it shines a light on it even more.” In her call to action, Kidman sparked a conversation that will open many doors for victims of this atrocious disease.

Winner of Outstanding Writing of a Comedy Series, Lena Waithe, spoke specifically to the LGBTQ+ community. However, the message she delivered is powerful for all of the minorities struggling to find hope in today’s society.

“I see each and every one of you,” Waithe said. “The things that make us different, those are our superpowers — every day when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”

The award ceremony was powerful and filled with so much love for others and resentment for what our country has become. By using the enormous audience that they have access to, these stars have the ability to create a wave of conversation and make a difference in the world. Award ceremonies and acceptance speeches may not be what you are looking to watch on your Sunday evening, but hearing and embracing what other people have to say is what will keep us all connected and enable us to fight the power and take it back as our own.

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