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'Hidden Figures' shocks Screen Actors Guild Awards

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/30/2017 By JAKE COYLE, AP Film Writer
Octavia Spencer, from left, Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, and Kirsten Dunst pose in the press room with the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture for "Hidden Figures" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Octavia Spencer, from left, Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, and Kirsten Dunst pose in the press room with the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture for "Hidden Figures" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The cast of "Hidden Figures" rocketed to the Screen Actors Guild top award at a fiery, protest-laden ceremony that was dominated by defiance over President Trump's sweeping immigration ban.

Octavia Spencer, from left, Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson, and Kirsten Dunst accept the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture for "Hidden Figures" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Octavia Spencer, from left, Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson, and Kirsten Dunst accept the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture for "Hidden Figures" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

An uplifting drama about African-American mathematicians who aided NASA's 1960s space race, "Hidden Figures" was the surprise best-ensemble winner Sunday night at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium. With the Oscar front-runner "La La Land" not nominated in the category, most expected a contest between "Moonlight" or "Manchester by the Sea."

Mahershala Ali accepts the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for "Moonlight" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Mahershala Ali accepts the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for "Moonlight" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

"This story is about unity," said Taraji P. Henson, who stars alongside Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae in "Hidden Figures." ''This story is about what happens when we put our differences aside and we come together as a human race. We win. Love wins. Every time."

Meryl Streep, left, and Viola Davis attend the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Meryl Streep, left, and Viola Davis attend the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

From the first remarks by presenter Ashton Kutcher, the ceremony was peppered with speeches that argued passionately for inclusion. In a very well dressed version of the demonstrations sparked nationwide over the weekend, most award winners spoke in some way — either through personal anecdote or a call to arms — against Trump's halting of immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

The cast and crew of "Orange is the New Black" pose in the press room with the awards for the award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press The cast and crew of "Orange is the New Black" pose in the press room with the awards for the award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who added another honor for her performance on the political satire "Veep," said she was the daughter of an immigrant who fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France.

Simon Helberg, left, and Jocelyn Towne display protest signs against the U.S. policy of temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries, at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Simon Helberg, left, and Jocelyn Towne display protest signs against the U.S. policy of temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries, at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

"Because I love this country, I am horrified by its blemishes," said Louis-Dreyfus. "And this immigrant ban is a blemish and it is un-American."

Lily Tomlin accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Lily Tomlin accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Perhaps the most moving speech came from Mahershala Ali, who won best supporting actor for his acclaimed performance in Barry Jenkins' coming-of-age portrait, "Moonlight." Ali said he saw lessons for today in "Moonlight," in which he plays a character who makes a difference in a shy, gay Miami boy's hard life. "We see what happens when you persecute people," Ali said. "The fold into themselves."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepts the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series for "Veep" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepts the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series for "Veep" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Ali said his relationship with his mother exemplified tolerance. The son of an ordained minister, Ali converted to Islam 17 years ago.

Viola Davis accepts the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role for "Fences" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Viola Davis accepts the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role for "Fences" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

"We put things to the side," Ali said of their differences. "I'm able to see her. She's able to see me. We love each other. The love has grown. That stuff is minutia. It's not that important."

Viggo Mortensen, left, and Kathryn Hahn speak at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Viggo Mortensen, left, and Kathryn Hahn speak at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Ali was among the several Oscar favorites who cemented their front-runner status, including best-actress winner Emma Stone for "La La Land" and best-supporting actress winner Viola Davis for "Fences." But best actor went to Davis's co-star (and director) Denzel Washington for his performance in the August Wilson adaptation. Most expected the award to go to Casey Affleck, apparently including Washington, himself.

Damien Chazelle arrives at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Damien Chazelle arrives at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

"I'm a God-fearing man," he said, still shaking his head as he reached the podium. "I'm supposed to have faith, but I didn't have faith."

William H. Macy poses in the press room with the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a comedy series for "Shameless" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press William H. Macy poses in the press room with the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a comedy series for "Shameless" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The most blistering speech was by David Harbour, who led the cast of Netflix's "Stranger Things" — another big surprise winner — on stage to accept best ensemble in a TV drama series. "We will hunt monsters," Harbour vowed in lengthy remarks that drew a standing ovation.

John Lithgow accepts the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series for "The Crown" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press John Lithgow accepts the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series for "The Crown" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The hit Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black" won best ensemble in a comedy series for the third straight year.

Ashton Kutcher presents the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP): Mahershala Ali accepts the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for "Moonlight" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Mahershala Ali accepts the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for "Moonlight" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

"We stand up here representing a diverse group of people, representing generations of families who have sought a better life here from places like Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ireland," said star Taylor Schilling, while a cast member added "Brooklyn!" ''And we know that it's going to be up to us and all you, probably, to keep telling stories that show what unites us is stronger than the forces that divide us."

Taylor Schilling, center, and the cast of "Orange Is the New Black" accept the award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Taylor Schilling, center, and the cast of "Orange Is the New Black" accept the award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

A pair of veteran actors took other TV honors: John Lithgow for best actor in a drama series ("The Crown") and Bryan Cranston for his Lyndon Johnson portrayal in the HBO movie "All the Way." Sarah Paulson ("The People v. O.J. Simpson") and Claire Foy ("The Crown") also took home awards.

Bryan Cranston appears backstage with the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a television movie or limited series for "All the Way" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Bryan Cranston appears backstage with the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a television movie or limited series for "All the Way" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

"La La Land" may have tied an Oscar record with 14 nominations, set a Golden Globes record with seven wins and won the top prize at Saturday's Producers Guild Awards, but it wasn't competing for the top Screen Actors Guild award. That means if Damien Chazelle's musical is to go on to win best picture, it will be just the second film to do so without a SAG ensemble nod in the category's history. Only Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" managed it in 1996.

Emma Stone accepts the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role for "La La Land" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Emma Stone accepts the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role for "La La Land" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Actors, the largest group in the motion picture academy, hold considerable sway. SAG, though, is much larger, with about 160,000 members, compared to about 1,200 actors in the academy.

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Taraji P. Henson, from right, Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer, Kimberly Quinn, and Saniyya Sidney, foreground left, accept the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture for "Hidden Figures" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Taraji P. Henson, from right, Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer, Kimberly Quinn, and Saniyya Sidney, foreground left, accept the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture for "Hidden Figures" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Lily Tomlin was the lifetime achievement honoree Sunday. The 77-year-old actress gave a warm, rollicking speech that dispensed both drinking advice and regret over wasting "a lot of time being ambitious about the wrong things."

Emma Stone poses in the press room with the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role for "La La Land" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Emma Stone poses in the press room with the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role for "La La Land" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

"Did you hear? The Doomsday Clock has been moved up to two and a half minutes before midnight," said Tomlin. "And this award, it came just in the nick of time."

Aldis Hodge, from left, Theodore Melfi, Mahershala Ali, Jim Parsons, Kimberly Quinn, Kristen Dunst, Octavia Spencer, Saniyya Sidney, Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, and Glen Powell pose in the press room with the awards for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture for "Hidden Figures" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Aldis Hodge, from left, Theodore Melfi, Mahershala Ali, Jim Parsons, Kimberly Quinn, Kristen Dunst, Octavia Spencer, Saniyya Sidney, Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, and Glen Powell pose in the press room with the awards for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture for "Hidden Figures" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

___

Janelle Monae, left, and Taraji P. Henson pose in the press room with the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture for "Hidden Figures" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Janelle Monae, left, and Taraji P. Henson pose in the press room with the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture for "Hidden Figures" at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Sandy Cohen in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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