The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild was a night that celebrated both the cinematic and small-screen arts and a lot more as awardees left and right took their turn to protest against Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. From speeches that said we all belonged to the same one world to the reaction seen on Winona Ryder’s face, Sunday night was an affair best experienced first-hand.

'Hidden Figures' wins hearts and awards

Stars from the NASA mathematicians’ story, “Hidden Figures,” and the leads from the Netflix original series, “Stranger Things,” were awarded the “Outstanding Performance by a cast in a Motion Picture” and “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series” respectively.

Denzel Washington and Emma Stone won the top awards taking home their “Outstanding Performance by a Male/Female Actor” awards for their leading role in “Fences” and “La La Land,” respectively.

'Human GIF factory'

David Harbour from “Stranger Things” made an inspiring speech about how “we will shelter freaks and outcasts” and those that have nowhere to call home. “We will get past the lies. We will hunt monsters. And when we are at loss amidst the hypocrisy and casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will, as per [“Stranger Things” lead character] Chief Jim Hopper, punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy what we have envisioned for ourselves and the marginalized,” Harbour said.

As Harbour was reading his rather well-prepared speech, his costar Winona Ryder stood right beside him and displayed a series of facial expressions that earned her the title of a “human GIF factory” by a fan. Apart from that instant, everything else was a serious affair as was highlighted by Mahershala Ali from “Moonlight” who fought back tears as he made his way through his powerful speech.

Ali, who won best supporting actor for his role as a drug dealer who mentors a boy who is bullied for his sexuality, said “Moonlight” had taught him what happens to people who are persecuted: “they fold into themselves.” He added he was grateful for playing the part of a gentleman who saw such a persecuted person and took the opportunity to “uplift him and tell him that he mattered, that he was okay and accept him.”

“I hope that we do a better job of that.

When we kind of get caught up in the minutiae, the details that make us different, I think there’s two ways of seeing that,” Ali said, “There’s an opportunity to see the texture of that person, the characteristics that make them unique – and then there’s the opportunity to go to war about it.”

Actors in arms

Other actors who contributed to this politically charged edition of the Screen Actors Guild were stars like Taraji P. Henson (“Hidden”) who shouted to a cheering audience that “We win! Love wins every time!” while Sarah Paulson (“The People v. O.J. Simpson”) urged everyone to give to the ACLU because it is “a vital, vital organization that relies entirely on our support.”

Bryan Cranston, winner of the best TV actor prize for his portrayal of Lyndon B.

Johnson in “All the Way,” said that many asked him what Johnson would have thought of Trump. After wishing him success, Cranston said, Johnson would whisper in Trump’s ear something he often said as a form of both encouragement and as a cautionary tale: “Just don’t piss in the soup that all of us gotta eat.”

Lily Tomlin, who was awarded a lifetime achievement award, said that she was contemplating what her banner would read at the next protest she would attend, while rapper Common, who was co-presenting with Sophia Bush, decided to keep out of it all because, “If I say what I’m thinking, I’m risking a Twitter war.”

Anticipating the response that would come from the public, “Scandal” star Kerry Washington said that many people would be saying that actors should stay out of politics after witnessing the night’s speeches. “But the truth is,” she said, “actors are activists no matter what, because we embody the worth and humanity of all people.”