Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster told demonstrators it is “our time to resist” as she joined a rally opposing US president Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban, two days before the Academy Awards.
She spoke to demonstrators gathered outside the Beverly Hills headquarters of United Talent Agency (UTA), which cancelled its Oscars party to stage the protest.
Addressing hundreds of people, The Silence Of The Lambs star said: “I’m not somebody who feels very comfortable using my public face for activism.
“This year is a very different year and it’s time to show up. It’s the singular time in history. It’s time to engage.
“We know the first attack on democracy is an assault on free expression and civil liberties and this relentless war on truth.
“Unfortunately it’s too familiar because history repeats itself.”
“No matter where you’re born and no matter who you voted for, red or blue, whether you’re white, black or brown and all the colours of the identity rainbow – this is our time to resist.
“It’s our time to show up and demand answers. It’s our time to tell our elected officials to do their job.
“We will not tolerate chaos, ineptitude and war-mongering.”
Oscar-nominated Iranian director Asghar Farhadi sent a video message to the rally after he decided to boycott the awards ceremony over the travel ban affecting seven Muslim-majority countries.
Ashgar, nominated for best foreign language film for The Salesman, told the crowd: “It is comforting to know that at a time when some politicians are trying to promote hate by creating divisions between cultures, religions and nationalities, the cinema community has joined the people in a common show of unity to show its opposition.
“I hope this unity will continue and spread to fight other injustices. Film-makers can break stereotypes around the world by turning their cameras to capture shared human qualities.”
Actors Michael J Fox and Keegan-Michael Key and former foreign secretary David Miliband, who is chief executive of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), also addressed the rally.
Miliband said: “We are living in the midst of a refugee crisis the likes of which has never been seen before.
“The executive order that was published in Washington three weeks ago was one story of America.
“Today this rally in Hollywood is telling another story. It’s a story of humanity, a story of reason, a story of patriotism that is founded in values, not in ethnicity.”
Michael told the crowd: “You have people who have given up everything, who have lost everything they have. They are struggling to keep their families alive and keep food in their mouths and disease away from their bodies and took tremendous risk to get to this country, and we say no?
“We are the lucky ones.”
UTA said the rally, United Voices, was organised to “express the creative community’s support for freedom of speech and artistic expression and stand against policies of exclusion and division”.
The talent agency is donating more than 320,000 US dollars (£258,000) to the American Civil Liberties Union and the IRC.