Brow Beat

Julia Louis-Dreyfus at SAG Awards: “My Father Fled Religious Persecution in Nazi-Occupied France”

It was inevitable that Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards would include tons of acceptance speeches about the rolling catastrophe of Trump’s immigration ban, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus at least started things off on a funny note.  After winning the first award of the night for her role in Veep, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, Dreyfus wasted no time taking aim at Trump:

I look out on the million or even a million-and-a-half people in this room, and I say this award is legitimate, and I won! I’m the winner, the winner is me, landslide.

No one does narcissism like Julia Louis-Dreyfus (well, almost no one), and Dreyfus had the crowd in stitches before striking a more serious tone, sharing her family’s personal history and speaking out against the ban:

I want you all to know that I am the daughter of an immigrant. My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France. And I am an American patriot, and I love this country. And because I love this country I am horrified by its blemishes. And this immigrant ban is a blemish and it is un-American.

Dreyfus went on to read from a statement released by the Writers Guild of America, West, on Sunday, condemning Trump’s ban. In short, this was about as close to the platonic ideal of a political acceptance speech an entertainer could give: funny, personal, and short. Backstage, when she was asked about her decision to focus on Trump, Dreyfus said, “There were a million people I forgot to thank, but I’m in a different place tonight.”