Billy Crystal, Jamie Dornan & More Share Powerful Messages of Support for Ukraine at Critics Choice Awards
While some of the biggest names in showbusiness gathered together in Los Angeles and simultaneously in London on Sunday for the 2022 Critics Choice Awards, the ongoing war in Ukraine cast a looming shadow.
As fans saw during this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards back in February, several stars addressed the ongoing conflict, and called for peace amid Russia's attack on Ukraine.
From awards presenters using their time on stage to delivered a planned message of support to the words of unity shared by stars during their acceptance speeches, it was clear how prevalent the was was on the minds of those in attendance.
Here's a look at some of the powerful messages shared by celebs throughout Sunday's awards gala.
The Oscar-nominated Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova -- who earned widespread acclaim for her performance in 2020's Borat Subsequent Moviefilm -- took the stage early on during the show and shared a message of support for the people of Ukraine.
"I am from Bulgaria, and my home city just a few hundred miles from Ukraine. So as we gather on this special night, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the bravery of the people of Ukraine, who are defending their right to Independence and democracy," she shared. "I truly hope that we will come together and usher in a new cultural and artistic exchange between eastern Europe and Hollywood, which was a foundational force of creativity in the 20th century. So I hope my message goes to the Ukrainian people. We see you. We stand with you. And our hearts are with you."
After Belfast took home the award for Best Acting Ensemble, star Jamie Dornan took the stage to accept the honor on behalf of the cast, and he stressed the importance of understanding the human toll of war and geopolitical conflict.
"As someone from Belfast, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of telling a story about a place that people don't really have a big idea about, talking about the real people from that place, not seeing it from a politicized lens or a military lens, which is often the case in Belfast," he shared. "Seeing it through the eyes of family, something we can all relate to and we need to relate to at the moment particularly with Ukraine and the families that are going through the hardship."
The legendary comedian was honored at this year's show with the Lifetime Achievement Awards -- something that has only been given out to a handful of other revered stars. Crystal delivered a delightfully funny and heartfelt speech, and shared a very personal story that resonated with the audience.
"My grandmothers were from Odessa and Kyiv. They escaped the pogroms to come to America where they could live free from tyranny. And their laughter, the first laughs I ever got in my life, is the fuel that my engine is still burning today," Crystal shared. "So I dedicate this award to those amazing people in our living room back in Long Island whose laughter and joy started this 5-year-old boy on his way to this moment. And as we all have thought about and spoken about tonight, I pray that somehow, someway, there can be laughter and joy in that part of the world once again."
The celebrated star once again earned a trophy for his acclaimed performance in Dopesick, and walked away with the award for Best Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie Made For Television. Keaton delivered a powerful address, and concluded his speech with a message of rousing support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
"The only thing I will say about things in the world, which I have mentioned before, I want to say thank you to fellow actor President Zelenskyy, and keep up the fight! There is only one way to change things environmentally, socially, and for some sort of racial justice and social justice, two words: Voting rights."
When Ted Lasso earned the award for Best Comedy Series, star Hannah Waddingham -- who also took home the award for Best Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series -- delivered the acceptance speech and got tearfully emotional as she addressed the war.
"Thank you so much. But it would be remiss of us to not throw the focus to the most important thing that is happening in the world at the moment, our beautiful brothers and sisters, and for me more importantly, the babies in the Ukraine, that are being utterly decimated at the moment from this putrid, putrid torrent of abuse," Waddingham shared. "Please think of them is much as you can and give as much as you can. We are so grateful for this. But may this stop. Made this stop. Please."
Sean McVay and Veronika Khomyn
Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay and his fiancée, Veronika Khomyn, were tasked with presenting the final award of the night for Best Picture, and the pair used their time on stage to share a closing message about the war, which hits particularly close to home for them.
"We are honored to present the critics choice for best picture. Before we announce the nominees, we'd like to take a moment to talk about what's on all of our minds: Veronika's home country, Ukraine," McVay began.
"I proudly stand with my fellow Ukrainians and I admire their strength. They have faced unimaginable adversity with such profound grace and bravery," Khomyn shared. "Their fight and the way they have united the world is truly inspiring. There is no place for this kind of violence in our world and our prayers go out to all the lives that have been lost."
See the video below for a look at what messages Hollywood's biggest names shared about Ukraine during last month's SAG Awards.
For more coverage on the Ukraine Crisis visit CBS News.
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