Mahershala Ali, Lily Tomlin & Denzel: who gave the best SAG speech?

Emma Stone at The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Press Room in LA

The 2017 SAG Awards definitely came at a weird moment. We’re more than a week into Emperor Baby Fists’ reign of terror, America feels completely different, and actors are absolutely trying to use their voices. So while some surprising things happened, awards-season-wise, so many of last night’s winners chose to talk about politics, or give politically-tinged speeches throughout the show.

First, the conversations about the awards season… Viola Davis and Emma Stone are now pretty much sure things for the actress awards, I think. But I was shocked that Denzel Washington won Best Actor rather than Casey Affleck. I also think maybe La La Land isn’t a 100% sure thing for Best Picture? Like, if it’s not La La Land, would it be Hidden Figures, the winner of the Best Ensemble? Or Moonlight? You can see the full list of last night’s winners here.

Speaking of sure things, Mahershala Ali wowed everyone with one of the best, most moving speeches of the night. Mahershala is a converted Muslim man, and he spoke about the “minutiae” that doesn’t really matter.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus also made a tearful, emotional speech about how her father was a refugee who came to this country.

Stranger Things won Best Ensemble for a TV Drama and David Harbour got to speak. His speech was crazy and moving and Winona Ryder wouldn’t stop making faces.

Taylor Schilling of Orange is The New Black talked about the diversity of their cast and how they come from all over. She said that “what unites us is stronger than the forces that seek to divide us.”

Denzel Washington really didn’t think he would win. He called Casey Affleck “that young boy.”

Lily Tomlin’s Lifetime Achievement speech was fantastic, and possibly a bit drunk. I love her.

Here’s Hidden Figures surprise win, with Taraji P. Henson speaking:

Honestly, all awards shows should be about two hours long, because that way everyone has fun! Still, the struggle continues and everyone needs to buckle up, because while #SAGAwards trended all evening, so did “World War III.” Prepare yourselves.

Emma Stone at The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Press Room in LA

Emma Stone at The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Press Room in LA

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

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23 Responses to “Mahershala Ali, Lily Tomlin & Denzel: who gave the best SAG speech?”

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  1. ell says:

    bless winona’s face tbh.

    i’m happy people aren’t being quiet. normal people marching, and celebs talk about it (they’re just actors, but they have a voice where others don’t) does make a difference. we need to keep it going. what is happening now in the US and i’ll add the UK as well because it’s where i live and it isn’t much better atm, should never be normalised.

    • Sixer says:


      (Also, Mahershala Ali belongs to me.)

      • LuckyZeGrand says:

        Duude,there are like 5 famous muslim men it’s halal to lust over.
        His fine,bandana-ed(how good was Moonlight?!) ass belongs to me.

      • Sixer says:


      • Lahdidahbaby says:

        Sixer, I love you and everything but I’m sorry, he belongs to me because I’ve had dibs on him since a looooong time ago. And I’ve been on the record here at CB as wanting him to win this, so…

        LuckyZeGrand, I just saw your post after I wrote that. Now it’s getting very populated here in the Mahershala zone. I see that I’m possibly gonna haveta get in line.

        It was very moving, what Mahershala said and also how he said it. Made me tear up and stay teary. It desperately needs to be said, because “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…” used to be our thing, as Americans. Now Donald F. (Yes, “F”!) Trump has turned our nation from a safe harbor to a harbor of shame.

      • Sixer says:

        We need Eve back so that we can sort it all out with a good old-fashioned shanking!

        (He’s still mine. Cheekbones. Voice. Mine.)

    • Nicole says:

      20000 in NYC yesterday the rally there was electric.
      Anyways if the four that won last night won at the Oscars I would be super pleased. Moonlight for Picture please!

  2. Sabine says:

    So many great words spoken bye great people. Thank you all! We need this so much, here in Germany as well.

  3. Hannah says:

    Lily Tomlin made me laugh, Mahershala made me teary and “Stranger Things” made me fight.

  4. Cran says:


    That’s all I got.

  5. Rocio says:

    Winona was feeling it all! Winona is back! 😂

  6. JulP says:

    Soooo happy Denzel won! I hope he snatches the Oscar away from Casey 😉 I finally saw MBTS last night and I wasn’t that impressed by Casey’s performance. He was good, but frankly, of the performances I’ve seen this year (Fences is the only contender I haven’t watched yet), I think Jake G. in NA was the best. I still can’t believe he wasn’t even nominated! Personally, I think the best performance in MBTS was from Lucas Hedges.

    Still hoping Moonlight wins best picture at the Oscars, though it’s a bit disappointing that it didn’t win best ensemble here. My dream Oscar winners would be Moonlight for best pic, Barry Jenkins for director, and the acting awards would go to Denzel, Isabelle Huppert, Viola and Mahershala.

  7. AG-UK says:

    Love him. Such a calming voice and that quiet smile. I cannot wait to see Moonlight… mid February here (:

  8. original kay says:

    These speeches give me hope. There was an attack at a mosque, last night, in Quebec.

    **tears roll down***

    • Asiyah says:

      I’m shaken by that. I don’t even know if I can attend a mosque anymore. I’m not afraid but my parents worry.

  9. Eric says:

    Dolly Parton made me crack up…smoking the hippie lettuce?

  10. QQ says:

    Ahhh Mahershala made me cry! ( more like this weekend made m cry and he just overflowed the cup)

  11. Izzy says:

    Dibs on David Harbour. He is awesome. Loved his speech, loved the fiery passion with it. And yes, Winona Ryder’s faces made it better too.

  12. serena says:

    Thank god for Denzel Washington! I hope he wins, in Casey’s face ah! Also, I don’t really feel La La Land? I mean, I love both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling but this movie really isn’t THAT good.

  13. me says:

    I can’t believe this is Denzel’s first SAG award. He’s so talented ! Glad he won. I was really impressed with everyone’s speeches.