Novelist John Irving went after President Donald Trump on Monday, and called on Oscar-winning actors to get political with their acceptance speeches on Feb. 26. Irving targeted Trump specifically because of his anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion rights stances in an article for the Hollywood Reporter. He also referred to Trump’s early anti-Muslim travel and immigration ban as bigoted “racial profiling.”
Irving won an Oscar in 2000 for best adapted screenplay of his novel The Cider House Rules, and pointed to his acceptance speech, in which he thanked Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL Pro-Choice America) to then question the “protocol” for acceptance speeches.
In his essay, Irving calls for more of what he calls “outright bias” at the Oscars. “Examine the outright bias of President Trump; consider the sexual dinosaur that Vice President Pence is,” he wrote. “Pence believes in conversion therapy for homosexuals; he was among the first to propose defunding Planned Parenthood. In Trump’s administration, LGBT and abortion rights are in danger.”
He noted that whatever protocol may have ever existed in regards to Oscars speeches, the current presidential administration should be a sign of a need for change. “Be intolerant of intolerance,” Irving wrote, explaining that concept as an obligation of the creative community.
Irving ends his essay with a final call to the creative community at the Oscars. “Tolerance of intolerance is unacceptable,” he wrote, adding, “President Trump’s intolerance is glaring. Trump isn’t worrying about presidential protocol.”