Mahershala Ali Gives Emotional SAG Awards Speech: ‘When You Persecute People, They Fold Into Themselves’

At tonight’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, Mahershala Ali won the award for being the best supporting actor out of a pretty hard-hitting selection of the year’s supporting actors. He used his speech to talk about the movie he won for, Moonlight, and how its plot it relates to current events.

“What I’ve learned from working on Moonlight is wee see what happens when you persecute people,” he said. “They fold into themselves.”

He spoke of the importance of telling persecuted people they matter and are accepted, then said, “I hope that we do a better job.”

He continued by pointing out that there are two ways of viewing differences in others: appreciating them or going “to war” over them.

“That person is different from me. I don’t like you, so let’s battle. My mother is an ordained minister. I’m a Muslim. She didn’t do backflips when I called her  to tell her I converted 17 years go, but I tell you now, we put things to the side. I’m able to see her, she’s able to see me, we love each other, the love has grown, and that stuff is minutiae; it’s not that important,” he said to cheers.

Watch above.

[image: screengrab]

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