Rita Moreno receives PGA award for defending actors’ freedom of speech – The Hollywood Reporter

Not every guest at the PGA Awards Saturday night needs a reminder of Rita Moreno’s vivaciousness, she advises them anyway.

Oscar-nominated Jessica Chastain, Moreno took to the stage and burst into dance before accepting the Stanley Kramer Award for social work, shaking her shoulders and striding onto the podium while Chastain did the same. While delivering a speech, Moreno kept the momentum going.

“I am not a religious person, but for me, film is often a sacred text that motivates me to do what I do. [Abraham Lincoln] Moreno details. “In 1963, I sat on the steps of Abraham Lincoln, just a few feet away [Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.]. I was there. … Thanks to an invitation from Harry Belafonte, I was there to hear the preacher’s dream. During the seasons when profits are quiet and politicians are on the throne, fortunately, filmmakers continue to preach and relentlessly campaign for issues of fairness and justice.”

Producer and director Stanley Kramer, her awardee, “is one such seer, who never shies away from the issues of social justice and equity in her work. ,” the actress told the crowd. As a result, Moreno said it’s both meaningful and exciting to receive recognition and be attached to Kramer’s legacy.

“I am 90 now,” says the legend who starred in the best picture nomination West story for Steven Spielberg. “And work for a lifetime, and this business takes persistence and hard work. Advocating for social justice issues over the past 60 years has been exhausting, exhilarating and invigorating. If it weren’t for those suits and the fire that burned within me as a young woman, I certainly wouldn’t be here tonight to receive this wondrous honor. ”

She then praised Spielberg and writer Tony Kushner for the film adaptation, a collaboration that tells “the immigrant story with integrity, character, and respect for ethnicity” in a way that it ” ignite this fire within me.”

Moreno closed his brief speech by hitting back at critics who targeted actors who used their platforms to speak out about issues that mattered to them.

“We are gearing up for another awards season and some in our tribe have been known to use the spotlight to campaign for the issues covered in their nominated works. — climate change, universal health care, LGBTQ suffrage and advocacy, and many, many others,” explains Moreno. “And I know that in some audiences it has been known to create, how shall I say – a slight discomfort? For others, the heart beats fast. ‘After all, who are these actors, who do these types of Hollywood people think they are, huh? Citizens in a democracy? ‘”

There, ending Moreno bluntly said: “Well, fuck them. Freedom of speech belongs to all of us actors. And let’s not forget that comedians are also patriots – just look in the direction of Mr. Zelensky in Ukraine.”

With that, Moreno closed her short and literal spin by saying, “Thank you, and I promise I’ll be sexier another time.”

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