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American actor talks about converting to Islam in emotional speech
American actor talks about converting to Islam in emotional speech
Published at: 2 year(s) ago
American film and TV actor Mahershala Ali has won the SAG Supporting Actor award for his role as a drug dealer in the coming-of-age drama “Moonlight.”

The award was announced Sunday in ceremonies at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Ali topped Jeff Bridges for “Hell or High Water,” Hugh Grant for “Florence Foster Jenkins,” Lucas Hedges for “Manchester by the Sea,” and Dev Patel for “Lion.”

Ali indirectly addressed the immigration ban while accepting his award for outstanding performance in a dramatic role.

“I think what I’ve learned from working on Moonlight is we see what happens when you persecute people: they fold into themselves,” he began.

Ali noted that his mother, an ordained minister, “didn’t do backflips when I called her to tell her I converted [to Islam] 17 years ago.” But in time, they were able to put religious differences aside. “We love each other and the love has grown. And that stuff is minutia. It’s not that important.”

Earlier, Ashton Kutcher addressed the refugee ban as he addressed the crowd at the top of the show.

“Good evening, fellow SAG members and everyone at home and everyone in airports that belong in my America,” Kutcher said. “You are a part of the fabric of who we are and we love you and we welcome you.”

Kutcher also pointed out on Twitter that his wife, Mila Kunis, came to this country as a refugee from the Soviet-controlled Ukraine. –
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