In presenting Oliver Stone with the WGA West’s Laurel Award tonight, Salvador actor James Woods said, “Oliver had the temerity to ask me once, ‘Do you think I should just retire?’ I said, ‘Are you f*cking kidding me? Trump just got elected. You can go forever now.’”
Rather than verbally punch the current Commander in Chief, which was the vogue of tonight’s WGA Awards ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles, Stone’s message in his acceptance speech was not unlike the one he delivered at the Gotham Awards, when he collected his Career Achievement Award, reminding those in the room and the young filmmakers to be unafraid and to speak up to their government.
“It’d be remiss of me not to remind you, especially you younger writers, that you can be critical of your government and your society,” the three-time Oscar-winner said tonight at the Beverly Hilton. “You don’t have to fit in. It’s fashionable now to take shots at Republicans and Trump and avoid the Obamas and Clintons. But remember this: In the 13 wars we’ve started over the last 30 years and the $14 trillion we’ve spent, and the hundreds of thousands of lives that have perished from this earth, remember that it wasn’t one leader but a system, both Republican and Democrat. It’s a system that has been perpetuated under the guise that these are just wars justifiable in the name of our flag.”
He continued, “No need to go through the victims, but we know we’ve intervened in more than 100 countries. It’s war of some kind. In the end, it’s become a system leading to the death of this planet and the extinction of us all. I fought these people who [perpetuate] war for most of my life. It’s important to remember: If you believe in what you’re saying and you can stay the course, you can make the difference. I urge you to find a way to remain alone with yourself, listen to your silences, not always in a writers room. Try to find not what the crowd wants so you can be successful, but try instead to find the true inner meaning of your life here on Earth, and never give up in your heart with your fight for peace, decency, and telling the truth.”