Actor Mark Ruffalo participated in a rally against sexual violence outside a Catholic church in Los Angeles Sunday morning just hours before he hit the red carpet at the Academy Awards.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Spotlight star joined about 20 other protestors outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in downtown Los Angeles to call on the church to do more to battle sexual abuse and to release the names of known offenders.
Ruffalo was reportedly joined by Spotlight director Tom McCarthy and writer Josh Singer. Spotlight centers on the Boston Globe‘s 2002 investigation into widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. Ruffalo plays one of the reporters on the paper’s “Spotlight” investigative team, Michael Rezendes, and was nominated for an Oscar for his performance.
“I’m here to stand with the survivors and the victims and the people we’ve lost from Catholic priest childhood sex abuse,” Ruffalo told demonstrators, according to the Times.
Ruffalo also tweeted his support for the protest:
Standing with the survivors of Priest sexual abuse! https://t.co/xfV9bV5m3q
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) February 28, 2016
The Los Angeles rally was one of 20 organized on the same day by advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. In a statement to the Times, the group’s president, Barbara Blaine, urged every Catholic to see Spotlight.
“We wanted to use this moment with all of the attention on the movie Spotlight because that movie tells our stories and gets it right,” Blaine said.
Spotlight took home two Oscars at Sunday night’s ceremony: McCarthy earned one for Best Original Screenplay, and the film earned the night’s top Best Picture prize. The film was nominated for four other awards, including a Best Supporting Actor nod for Ruffalo.
Last month, Ruffalo said he had been “weighing” a boycott of the Oscars in solidarity with other stars who sat out the show due to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. But the actor later said he would attend “in support of the victims of clergy Sexual Abuse and good journalism.”
To clear up any confusion. I will be going to the Oscars in support of the victims of clergy Sexual Abuse and good journalism. #Spotlight
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) January 21, 2016