Actors Jodie Foster and Michael J. Fox have led an anti-Trump protest two days before the Oscars in Beverly Hills.
The United Voices rally was staged by Hollywood’s United Talent Agency instead of its usual pre-Oscars party.
Jodie Foster said she rarely spoke out in public but that it was now “time to show up”.
Michael J. Fox told the crowd “we are the lucky ones” and that he wanted to “share a bit of that luck” with refugees who want to enter the United States.
The Canadian-born star, who became a US citizen two decades ago, showed only relatively small signs of the Parkinson’s Disease he has lived with since 1991.
Michael J. Fox added that he believed “in the power of the arts to change not just our hearts but the world”.
Jodie Foster, who has won Oscars for The Silence of the Lambs and The Accused, said the rally was “exactly the way to celebrate our industry, to celebrate all of you, to celebrate artistic expression and our commitment to humanities on screen and off”.
Image source Wikimedia
The actress did not air her views in public often, she told the crowd during her impassioned speech.
“I’m not somebody who’s very comfortable using my public face for activism.
“And so in my life I’ve found the small ways, much like most of you, to serve and to show up and to give somebody a lift at the bottom of the hill when they’re going to the top.
“But this year is a very different year and it’s time to show up. It’s a singular time in history. It’s time to engage.”
The rally comes ahead of an Academy Awards ceremony that is likely to be highly politically charged.
President Donald Trump has previously been dismissive of celebrity protests and of stars who have criticized him, such as Meryl Streep.
The rally was also shown a video message from Oscar-nominated Iranian film director Asghar Farhadi, who has said he is staying away from February 26 ceremony following President Trump’s attempt to ban travel from Iran and six other mainly Muslim countries.
Also on February 24, all the nominees for best foreign language film – including Asghar Farhadi – issued a joint statement denouncing the current “climate of fanaticism and nationalism”.
Jodie Foster publicly thanked her former partner and mother to her two sons Charlie and Kit, Cydney Bernard, while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at last year’s Golden Globe Awards.
Jodie Foster and Cydney Bernard met on the set of the 1993 film Sommersby, where Cydney – now a producer – was working as a production coordinator.
Jodie Foster and Cydney Bernard met on the set of the 1993 film Sommersby
In 2008, it was reported that the couple broke things off, ending their 15-year-relationship.
Jodie Foster, now 51, is very protective of her privacy and has not spoken about the breakup.
However, it was reported that Jodie Foster broke up with Cydney Bernard in order to pursue a relationship with writer/producer Cindy Mort, whom she met while filming The Brave One in 2006.
Though Jodie Foster reportedly left her partner of 15 years for Cindy Mort, the two remain in close contact, as they share joint custody of their two sons.
Jodie Foster’s ex-partner, Cydney Bernard, is said to be jealous that the actress married girlfriend Alexandra Hedison.
Jodie Foster and Alexandra Hedison tied the knot over the weekend after dating for just a year.
Cydney Bernard, 61, and Jodie Foster, 51, broke up in 2008. They had been together since 1993, and raised their two sons: Charles “Charlie” Foster (born July 20, 1998) and Christopher “Kit” Foster (born September 29, 2001).
Cydney Bernard and Jodie Foster broke up in 2008
According to sources close to the actress, Jodie Foster and Alexandra Hedison got married because they’re keen to start a family.
“Jodie and Alexandra want to have a family together,” a source said.
“But Alexandra wanted security from Jodie, and would only have a child with her if they were married.
“They will likely use a surrogate for their baby – being married just makes the legalities easier.”
Jodie Foster plans to tell her beloved sons who their father is when they turn 21, the mother of the star’s best friend claimed today.
Jodie Foster, 50, was the talk of the Golden Globes on Sunday night as she openly discussed her sexuality and made a moving tribute to her former girlfriend and co-parent Cydney Bernard.
And watching on proudly were her two sons, Charles, 14, and Kit, 12, whose paternity has never been revealed.
Reverend Beverly Bates, 75, revealed that her son, the late Hollywood producer Randy Stone, who is rumored to be the boys’ real father, treated them as if they were his own.
She said: “Randy told me that Jodie said she’ll tell the boys who their father is when they’re 21.
“He said he could never tell me because Jodie was his best friend. He said <<mom, I can’t discuss this with you>>, he told me he had had to sign documents, it was a secret he took to his grave, that was how much he loved Jodie.
“He said <<I can’t break my promise to Jodie>> – and he kept his promise to her.”
Jodie Foster plans to tell her beloved sons who their father is when they turn 21, the mother of the star’s best friend claimed today
Jodie Foster spoke out while accepting the Cecil B DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the awards ceremony in Los Angeles, while her boys and Cydney, 59, looked on.
The star remained close with Randy Stone, an Oscar and Emmy winning producer and prominent gay rights activist, up until his death from heart failure in February 2007, and referred to him as her “best friend” at the Oscars in 2007.
Speaking from her home in Hawaii, Rev. Beverly Bates added: “I would love to know if Randy is the boys’ father, I personally think he gave Jodie the gift, but she will never tell me.
“And Randy made an agreement with Jodie that he would never tell. I know the boys have red hair and freckles, that’s not from our family – but Jodie’s side.
“To the boys he was <<Uncle Randy>>. He took them everywhere with him and cared for them as if they were his own.
“When Jodie went away on location, he moved in and helped Cyd look after them. He was their father figure.”
Describing Jodie Foster as a “beautiful mother”, Rev. Beverly Bates said the star wanted to keep the boys’ paternity a secret after being left haunted by John Hinckley’s bid assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981 – which he claimed he plotted to impress her.
Randy Stone served as executive producer for the film Little Man Tate, Jodie Foster’s directorial debut.
Rev. Beverly Bates, who had spent Christmas at Jodie Foster’s house before, said the last she knew Jodie had been dating a South American athlete.
Jodie Foster was the talk of the Golden Globes after an emotional speech while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.
Usually fiercely private Jodie Foster, 50, surprised the audience as she touched on her sexuality, her rarely-seen sons, Charles, 14, and Kit, 12, and her ailing mother, who suffers from dementia.
Jodie Foster also made a moving public tribute to her former partner Cydney Bernard, who bowed her head with emotion as she supported Jodie Foster from her seat beside their two children.
“While I’m here being all confessional, I guess I just have just a sudden urge to say something that I’ve never really been able to air in public,” Jodie Foster said with a smile.
“[It’s] a declaration that I’m a little nervous about – but maybe not quite as nervous as my publicist right now. I’m just going to put it out there – loud and proud.”
She paused and asked the crowd for support before finally saying: “I am single.”
Jodie Foster received a boost from her close friend Mel Gibson, who offered a wolf-whistle from her table in the audience.
She continued: “This is not going to be a big coming out speech tonight because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the stone age – in those very quaint days when a fragile girl would open up to trusted friends and family and coworkers and then gradually proudly to everyone who knew her.
“But now apparently I’m told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a primetime reality show.”
Jodie Foster thanked her “heroic co-parent, my ex partner in love, but righteous soul sister in life. My confessor… most beloved BFF of 20 years, Cydney Bernard”.
“Thank you, Cyd. I am so proud of our modern family, our amazing sons, Charlie and Kit who are my reason to breathe and to evolve. … Boys, in case you didn’t know it, this song, like all of this, this song is for you.”
Her sons smiled proudly as they watched from the audience.
Jodie Foster was the talk of the Golden Globes after an emotional speech while accepting the Cecil B DeMille Award for lifetime achievement
In a moment that moved most in the audience to tears, she paid tribute to her 84-year-old mother, Evelyn “Brandy” Almond, who suffers from dementia.
She said: “I love you, I love you, I love you and I hope if I say this three times, it will magically and perfectly enter into your soul, fill you with grace and the joy of knowing that you did good in this life.”
Fighting back tears, she added: “You’re a great mom. Please take that with you when you’re finally okay to go.”
She appeared to hint at retirement at the close of her speech, saying: “This feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else – scary and exciting.”
Backstage, Jodie Foster denied she was stepping away from the public eye, adding: “Oh no, I could never stop acting. You’d have to drive me behind a team of horses.”
Jodie Foster publicly hinted at her sexuality for the first time in 2007 when she paid tribute to “my beautiful Cydney” at Women in Entertainment event – referring to her then partner Bernard.
The former couple met on the set of the film Sommersby in 1993 and had two sons.
Jodie Foster has never revealed the identity of the father or the circumstances of their conception.
As with most questions about her personal life, the actress has refused to comment on gossip that the father was an old university friend from Yale, who is also gay.
Jodie Foster landed her first job in a sun cream commercial when she was three years old and appeared in 50 films before she left school, including her shocking breakthrough role as a child prostitute in Taxi Driver with Robert De Niro.
Jodie Foster became one of the most successful adult stars in Hollywood by taking on gutsy roles like rape victim Sarah Tobias in The Accused in 1988 and Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs three years later, both of which won her Best Actress Oscars.