The supposedly persecuted left-wing organizations of Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) were well represented on the red carpet at the Tony Awards on Sunday night.
According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), the 73rd annual Tony Awards became a forum for political advocacy every bit as much as a forum for celebrating Broadway’s accomplishments, complete with a rainbow flag floral arrangement on the red carpet.
“Tony Awards attendees were eager to embrace causes close to their hearts via ribbons and pins connected to a variety of causes and organizations,” reports THR. “Ashley Park was an early arrival on the red carpet, pairing a rainbow pride pin with her yellow silk strapless gown, while Bryan Cranston, Tony winner Rachel Chavkin and Brandon Uranowitz were among those who sported blue ACLU ribbons.”
Tony Award winners such Rachel Hauck and Todd Sickafoose proudly featured Planned Parenthood pins when accepting their awards. Sickafoose even told reporters backstage how his mother turned him on to abortion advocacy. “I’m wearing this Planned Parenthood pin for my mother, who taught me to boycott companies that don’t support women’s rights,” he said.
Legendary playwright Terrence McNally also wore a Planned Parenthood pin when accepting his lifetime achievement award.
Producer Rachel Sussman presented a Planned Parenthood pin on her evening bag to THR while on the red carpet and how it ties into her play, “What the Constitution Means to Me.”
“Abortion is a major topic in What the Constitution Means to Me, so I wanted to be able to represent that tonight, because it feels like an important political moment to take a stand on that issue,” Sussman told the outlet.
Actress Amber Gray became the evening’s most prominent activist by wearing a jacket replete with dozens of pins, including one that said, “I Stand With Planned Parenthood.”
The Tony Awards show also thrusted politics to center-stage when actor Bryan Cranston declared the media is not the “enemy of the people” when accepting his award for “Network.”
“I would like to dedicate this to all the real journalists around the world, both in the press — the print media — and the broadcast media, who actually are in the line of fire with their pursuit of the truth,” Cranston said. “The media is not the enemy of the people. Demagoguery is the enemy of the people.”
Cranston later told reporters backstage that it is important to “keep sounding the alarm” about Trump and his allegedly absurd claims about the media.
“It’s absurd to think that the media is the enemy of the people,” said Cranston. “If that message keeps getting propagated over and over and over again, sometimes it starts to seep in. And the perception of the truth is often more important than the truth, because if people believe it, it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not.”
“So the opposite message has to continue to be put out there, whether it’s diversity or the fight against the media or women’s reproductive rights or voting rights,” he continued. “It’s important to keep sounding the alarm.”