Hollywood actress Jodie Foster spoke out on Saturday about what she dubbed the “chaos, ineptitude and war-mongering" of the current Trump administration while attending a pre-Oscars protest rally. She told fellow protesters that it is their time to resist at the rally, which opposes Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban. Ironically, shortly after the protest it was reported that a Syrian national, Khaled Khatib, had been banned from entering the U.S., despite his involvement as a cinematographer in the Oscar nominated documentary “The White Helmets.”

UTA protest just two days before the Oscars

Just two days prior to the Oscars ceremony, hundreds of demonstrators were gathered outside the headquarters of the United Talent Agency (UTA) in Beverley Hills in what was dubbed “United Voices.

” Foster was there to address them, but she did admit that she is not a person who feels comfortable using her public face for activism, but she said this year is different and it’s time to speak up and “engage.” Saying that the first attack on democracy is an attack on civil liberties and free expression, Jodie said it is a “relentless war on truth,” and that this is all too familiar, as history constantly repeats itself. She called on people, wherever they were born, whoever they voted for or whatever their skin color, to resist. Foster told them to “show up and demand answers,” and to tell elected officials to properly do their job.

Asghar Farhadi addressed demonstrators via video message

According to a report by the Guardian, Asghar Farhadi, the Oscar-nominated Iranian director, sent a video message to the demonstrators at the rally, after having decided to boycott the awards over Trump’s proposed travel ban, which would affect seven Muslim-majority countries.

Farhadi received a nomination for best foreign film with “The Salesman” and told demonstrators that at a time when politicians are promoting hate and divisions between cultures, nationalities and religions, it is comforting to know that some people are standing up against the status quo. Farhadi went on to say he hopes the unity will continue and spread to fight against other injustices.

He said stereotypes can be broken by film-makers worldwide, by using their cameras to “capture shared human qualities.”

Other well known people spoke at the UTA Rally

Other well known faces addressed the gathered protesters, including actors Keegan-Michael Key and Michael J Fox along with former British foreign secretary David Miliband, chief executive of the International Rescue Committee.

Fox spoke out about the fact that the U.S. to turning against people who have had to give up their way of life and lost everything they own in order to try and keep their families alive and put food into their mouths. He said it is appalling that these people are being turned away from the door, despite the tremendous risks they have taken to get there.

Miliband spoke of a refugee crisis, the likes of which has never been seen in the world before, but added that the executive order signed by Trump in Washington three weeks ago was only one side of the American story. He said the UTA rally shows the other side of the story – one of humanity, reason and patriotism, founded in values, not ethnicity.

Standing for artistic expression and freedom of speech

As reported by the LA Times, UTA said in a statement that the rally was organized to express the support of the creative community for artistic expression and Freedom Of Speech and to “stand against policies of exclusion and division.” Reportedly the agency has donated over $320,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union and the IRC.