Milk did it again, bringing home both best actor and best screenplay at last night's Academy Awards!Sean Penn accepted his award for Best Actor to a standing ovation and thunderous applause from the crowd of fellow actors. But not everyone was as thrilled for the success of MilkOutside the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles yesterday, dozens of anti-gay protesters marched the streets before and during the event.
The scene was reminiscent of the many anti-gay demonstrations from the film itself. The protesters even carried signs with similar slogans: “You are sinners” and “You hate your kids.” The Oscars opened just like the movie; with hate.
Penn was surprised by the demonstrators and mentioned them during his speech. "For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight," he said, "I think it's a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect on their great shame and their shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that support. We've got to have equal rights for everyone."
The outspoken actor has played a role in the gay cause off the silver screen too. His continuing support of the cause that Harvey Milk worked so hard for is a reminder that the fight isn’t over.
Sean Penn took the tough talk from the podium to the press room after the ceremony. "What I mentioned from the stage earlier tonight is to see this culture of ignorance, it breeds this kind of hateful expression," he said. "These people had the (anti-gay) signs outside essentially telling you you're less than human."
Penn added that he wants the anti-gay protesters "to turn in their hate card and find their better self." He also had some words on President Obama's stance -- the president opposes gay marriage -- which Penn has said he hopes will change. "I would like to believe that's a political stand right now and not necessarily a future one or a felt one...These are human needs, and they will be gotten."
Check out this Hollywood heavyweight's speech below and tell us what you think.
By CGG Reporter, Caroline Kotter