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Cynthia Nixon Calls Out the Administration and Enablers in Fiery Tonys Speech

Cynthia Nixon

The actress who won for a play about greed lays blame on the complicit. 

While Tony Awards host Kevin Spacey turned coming out into a joke twice during his opening number on the day of the Resist March and the eve of the anniversary of the Pulse massacre, where 49 people were gunned down in an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Cynthia Nixon called out not only the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, but those who stand idly by.

Nixon won Best Featured Actress in a play, her second Tony Award (the first was for Rabbit Hole in 2006) for her dual role in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, opposite Laura Linney, in a timeless tale of power and avarice that plays out amid a family business at the turn of the 20th century. After thanking her cast and crew, Nixon turned her speech to the personal and the political.

"I share this with my God-sent wife and our beloved children Sam, Charlie, and Max," she said as the camera cut to her wife, Christine Marinoni, whom she married in 2012 after eight years together. Then, referring to the Equality Marches in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and various cities around the world that replaced Pride parades with protests against the Trump administration, Nixon said, "It is a privilege to appear in Lillian Hellman's eerily prescient play at this specific moment in history."

She continued, "Eighty years ago [Hellman] wrote, 'There are people who eat the earth and all the people on it and other people who just stand around and watch them do it,'" calling out the "good" people whose silence and complicity have allowed Trump to institute a Muslim ban, roll back reproductive rights for women, rescind protections for trans students and for women in the workplace, and appoint Neil Gorsuch, who is no friend to marriage equality, to the Supreme Court.

The Tony Awards had its fair share of political moments, with many attendees sporting blue American Civil Liberties Union ribbons, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda wearing a rainbow ribbon for Pride, and Sally Field, a nominee for The Glass Menagerie, wearing a Planned Parenthood pin. Actor Kevin Kline, who won for Present Laughter, discussed the National Endowment for the Arts, which the Trump administration has threatened to defund, while Rebecca Taichman, who won for directing the lesbian-themed play Indecent from playwright Paula Vogel (who is a lesbian), said, "It's a story about love in a perilous time, and speaking out and making art when one is at great danger."

Still, Nixon's speech cut to the core, suggesting that this administration "eats the earth and all the people on it," and laying some of the blame on sycophants who refuse to stand up to Trump and his cronies. Beyond that, she praised the fighters and resisters and threw down a gauntlet to avoid being one of those people who does nothing.

Nixon ended her speech saying, "My love, my gratitude, and my undying respect go out to all the people in 2017 who are refusing to just stand and watch them do it [eat the earth]."

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