The musical La La Land is now firm favorite to win big at the Oscars next month after it was named best film of the year by the Producers Guild Of America on Saturday night.
The movie starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone already won the golden Globe for best musical or comedy and is nominated for a record-tying 14 Academy Awards.
But musician John Legends, who also stars in the movie and who serves as one of its executive producers, used the occasion to slam President Donald Trump for his executive order on immigration that’s widely regarded as a ban on Muslims.
John Legend, star and executive producer of La La Land that won best film at the Producers Guild Of America Awards Saturday night, used the occasion to slam Trump for his ‘Muslim ban’
During the evening awards show, Legend introduced a clip from the Damien Chazelle-directed feature a jazz musician who falls in love with an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.
‘Los Angeles is the home of so many immigrants, so many creative people, so many dreamers, and those of us who work in this business have the privilege of shaping how the rest of the world perceives this country we love,’ Legend told the star-studded audience.
‘We are the voice, we are the face of America. Our America is big, it is free, and it is open to dreamers of all races, all countries, all religions.
Platform: Legend, who was accompanied by wife Chrissy Teigen, said urged others at the event to use their power and influence for good and to ‘stand together for what is right’
He went on: ‘Our vision of America is directly antithetical to that of President Trump. I want to specifically tonight reject his vision and affirm that America has to be better than that.’
Legend, who is married to model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen, then urged others at the ceremony held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to use their influence to fight back against the ban on refugees and on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries entering the United States.
‘There’s a lot of money and power in this room and I hope you all will use it for something good. Let’s all continue to stand up together for what is right,’ Legend said.
Oscar fave: With wins at the PGAs and Golden Globes, La La Land starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone is now the hot favorite to win best picture at the Academy Awards next month
Earlier in the day, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences had issued a statement in response to reports that Iranian director Asghar Farhadi may not be able to attend the Academy Awards where he is nominated in the best foreign film category for The Salesman.
Iran is one of the seven countries singled out by Trump in his executive order.
‘The Academy celebrates achievement in the art of filmmaking, which seeks to transcend borders and speak to audiences around the world, regardless of national, ethnic, or religious differences,’ a spokesperson for the organization stated.
‘As supporters of filmmakers – and the human rights of all people – around the globe, we find it extremely troubling that Asghar Farhadi……could be barred from entering the country because of …religion or country of origin.’
On Saturday night, as protesters gathered at major airports across the U.S. and lawyers worked to obtain the release of ‘dozens’ of detained people, the American Civil Liberties Union won a stay on the ban after obtaining a hearing with a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York.
On a roll: The musical feature about a jazz musician who falls for an aspiring actress has a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations