The SAG-AFTRA Foundation held their 3rd Annual Patron of the Artists Awards last night honoring industry leaders and artists who champion the arts
and whose history of fostering creativity and creating opportunities has made a positive impact on the performing arts and the world.
Jeffrey Katzenberg and Spike Lee were honored with the Patron of the Artists Awards. Director Guillermo del Toro presented the award to Katzenberg saying “He is a mensch and a creator of atmospheres.” del Toro called Katzenberg an amazing friend and said, “He truly stands by those he loves in an industry where loyalty is a valuable commodity.”
BlacKkKlansman” cast members Adam Driver, Topher Grace, and John David Washington were on stage to present to Spike Lee. Washington praised Lee saying, “his films started a dialogue.”
Accepting his award, Lee said being an actor was a “hard, motherfucking job” and required courageousness “when you don’t think you have it.”
Actor Harrison Ford received the Artists Inspiration Award from his Blade Runner 2049 co-star, Ryan Gosling.
Sam Elliot came on stage to present the Artists Inspiration Award to his A Star Is Born co-star Lady Gaga. Gaga took to the stage to stress the importance of mental health. In a powerful and inspiring speech, the philanthropist, singer and actress said, “I feel very much like I do not belong here.” Gaga went on to say, “We are losing a generation of young people who do not believe that their voices are worth hearing. The need in this world for kindness is paralyzing. The negative news and tragedies are nonstop and overwhelming.” She suggested partnering with her Born This Way Foundation to raise awareness and provide mental health care for those who suffer. She stressed the importance of kindness and opened up to the audience about her own personal struggles saying, “I needed help. I wish there had been a system in place to empower me to say no to toxic work environments and people of questionable behavior.I wish I’d had you the SAG-AFTRA Foundation when I was 19.”