Casey Affleck used his acceptance speech at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday night to bash President Donald Trump and his administration’s “abhorrent” and “un-American” policies.
Accepting the best lead actor award for his role in Manchester by the Sea, the 41-year-old actor announced he was going to do something he knew he “shouldn’t do.”
“I should just whisper it in the bathroom, and I have whispered it to myself in the bathroom,” he said. “But I feel like increasingly my kids don’t listen to me unless it’s something I’m saying on TV.”
“So I just want to say that the policies of this administration are abhorrent and they will not last,” Affleck continued, to enthusiastic applause from the audience. “You don’t have to clap out of obligation, it’ll be over quicker if I just wrap it up.”
“I know this feels preachy and boring and I’m preaching to the choir but I’m just lending my little voice to the chorus here and saying that all of you, you’re struggling, you’re doing it so well in speaking up, and I’m really proud to be part of this community for that reason,” he added.
The actor — who is nominated in the same category at Sunday night’s Academy Awards — later explained his comments to reporters while wearing a t-shirt with the word “love” written on it in Arabic.
“There’s a torrent of terrifying news that’s coming out of Washington every day, so it’s easy to feel like arts education might be less significant, but nothing could be further from the truth,” Affleck said, according to Variety. “We’re only going to dig ourselves out of this hole if we start advocating for kids and all of our children, and be more inclusive.”
Affleck wasn’t the only star to get political; Spirit Awards hosts John Mulaney and Nick Kroll also cracked jokes about the president, while actress Sasha Lane wore a “Black Lives Matter” shirt.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum