Hollywood’s biggest stars honored the best in television at the 70th annual Emmy Awards– and used the platform for more than just celebrating movies and making a fashion statement.
The night started at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles with a musical number titled “We Solved It!” led by "Saturday Night Live” stars Kenan Thompson and Kate McKinnon.
During the performance, the stars declared "we solved" the lack of diversity in the industry — both celebrating progress made while also mocking a lack of progress overall.
The act was followed by an opening monologue presented by hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che — "Saturday Night Live" writers and “Weekend Update” co-anchors— who talked about the expected timely topics like sexual harassment, Roseanne, politics, which mostly scored lukewarm laughs from the audience.
"The Obamas now even have their own production deal at Netflix," said Jost. "My dream is that the only thing they produce is their own version of 'The Apprentice,' and it gets way higher ratings."
Jost also pointed the audience members were allowed to drink in their seats, joking about “losing inhibitions at a work function.”
The anchors then launched a series of quips about Roseanne Barr, who was fired from her eponymous sitcom earlier this year after publishing a tweet likening former President Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to "Planet of the Apes" and the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Roseanne was canceled by herself and then picked up by white nationalists,” said Jost.
The pair’s monologue largely danced around references to diversity and race.
“The Emmys were first held in 1949 …things were very different back then: We all agreed that Nazis were bad,” said Che at one point.
Apart from the relatively lackluster opening, the show’s highlight was the stars who hit the gold-colored carpet with politics on their minds.
One of the stars of ABC's "Black-ish," Actress Jenifer Lewis, made the biggest statement by wearing a Nike sweatshirt with a bedazzled swoosh in support of the company's decision to feature former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in their “Just Do It” ad campaign.
“I am wearing Nike to applaud them for supporting Colin Kaepernick and his protest against racial injustice and police brutality,” the actress told Variety on the red carpet.
“What can I do? What can I do that’s meaningful? I’ll wear Nike. I’ll wear Nike to say thank you. Thank you for leading the resistance! We need more corporate America to stand up also,” Lewis added.
The 61-year-old actress said she chose to don the controversial athletic apparel “to speak to the millennials today to let them know they are not alone when they speak out."
"We are not living in dark times. We are living in awakening times, and I am proud to be one of the leaders in the movement," she added.
The "Women's March" organizer and the wife of an Emmy-nominated director, Sarah Sophie Flicker, was also among the stars who used the Emmy’s red carpet to get her political stance across.
In a rather bold move, Flicker wore the words “Stop Kavanaugh” on her arm alongside the number for the U.S. Capitol switchboard, (202) 224-3121 – a not-so-subtle call to viewers to phone their senators.
Flicker’s protest was in reference to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who is currently in the center of maelstrom of sexual misconduct accusation.
“For the Senate Judiciary Committee to move forward with a vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh this week, without pausing for a thorough investigation of the allegations of sexual violence, would be a gross injustice and an insult to women,” the activist wrote on Instagram alongside a photo. “Stop the vote.”
Emmys ready. •Number is right there and here: (202) 224-3121? • Say something like this: For the Senate Judiciary Committee to move forward with a vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh this week, without pausing for a thorough investigation of the allegations of sexual violence, would be a gross injustice and an insult to women. Stop the vote. #stopkavanaugh #cancelkavanaugh #postponethevote #whatsatstake #stayhuman #keepshowingup #resist @jessepooljesse gave me the tattoo
Moreover, other celebrities, like Adam Scott, wore pink Time’s Up buttons that said “We believe Christine Blasey Ford” ? the woman who recently went public with allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her as a teenager.
Aside from buttons, Emmy-nominated "Westworld" star Evan Rachel Wood, who brought fellow sexual assault survivor and activist Amanda Nguyen as her date to the show, wore a blue ribbon to support the American Civil Liberties Union’s cause of reuniting immigrant families who were separated at the U.S. border under the Trump administration’s ruthless family separation policy.
"I think we're at a crucial time in history right now, especially for women and especially for civil rights. If I have even a little bit of power right now I want to use it for good," said Wood.
The Top Chef host, Padma Lakshmi, also sported the blue ribbon to declare her support for the non-profit organization.
“I was an immigrant, I was a little girl who was separated from my parents for two years, and I just feel if I have the good fortune to be here, then I should pay it forward or I should use what I’ve been given to greater good to pull other people up,” Lakshmi told People on the red carpet.
Moreover, "The Alienist" actress Q'orianka Kilcher caught attention by accessorizing her red dress with a pin that read: "I am a voter." Her message was that "all of our voices matter and all of our votes matter."
Emmy-nominated "Orphan Black" star Tatiana Maslany also took the opportunity to voice her support for the Planned Parenthood, a non-profit organization that provides sexual health care in the country.
“I’ve always stood by Planned Parenthood. I support a woman’s right to choose and autonomy over their bodies. I feel that’s threatened,” the actress told USA TODAY.
One can just hope the celebrities’ bold political statements deliver their deserved weight and generate a conversation about fundamental issues.
Banner Image Credits: Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic