Five times actors got political at the awards, like Meryl Streep did video

Fairfax

During her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, actress Meryl Streep criticises US President-elect Donald Trump for mocking a disabled reporter.

When silver screen legend Meryl Streep stuck it to Donald Trump at the Golden Globes, she wasn't the first actor to get political at an awards gala.

American film awards ceremonies have a rich history of actors using their time on stage to draw attention to the issues they're passionate about.

In this story we look at some of the best political speeches to come out of awards ceremonies.

Meryl Streep slammed Donald Trump in her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes.
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Meryl Streep slammed Donald Trump in her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes.

READ MORE:
Full text of Meryl Streep's speech
Donald Trump denies mocking reporter with a disability
Golden Globes 2017: All the Winners
Best & worst dressed: Golden Globe
Recap: The 2017 Golden Globes awards
Politics mentioned early and often at Golden Globes

1. Marlon Brando

In 1973 Marlon Brando was awarded an Oscar for his performance in The Godfather, but didn't show up to the ceremony to protest the way Hollywood treated native Americans. In his place the actor sent Native American rights activist Sacheen Littlefeather, who took the stage amid both applause and booing to voice Brando's objection to how American Indians were depicted in Hollywood.

Brando didn't technically give this speech, but he sure got his point across.

2. Vanessa Redgrave

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Vanessa Redgrave scored the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1978 for her role in Julia, but it was her involvement in a documentary about the Palestinian Liberation Organisation that led to her controversial speech.

Redgrave had funded and narrated the documentary, which made her an enemy of the Jewish Defence League (JDL). The JDL protested both the film and the Academy Awards, where Redgrave called them a "a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums" in her acceptance speech.

3. Halle Berry

In 2002 Halle Berry became the first African-American woman to win an Academy Award when she picked up Best Actress for her role in Monster's Ball.

On stage, Berry used the opportunity to dedicate the award to "every nameless, faceless woman of colour that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened".

4. Leonardo diCaprio

After playing bridesmaid so many times at the Oscars, in 2016 Leonardo diCaprio finally got his time in the sun when he won the Oscar for Best Actor.

He could have used his speech to make wry jokes about why the hell it had taken so long, but instead took the opportunity to focus the audience's attention on climate change with a call to action.

5. John Legend

At the 2015 Oscars, John Legend and Common turned viewers' attention to race.

The pair were picking up the statue for Best Song for their work on Glory in the film Selma. "We live in the most incarcerated country in the world," Legend said. "There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850."

 - Stuff

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