Marisa Tomei & Rosanna Arquette Honor the Overlooked 'Silence Breakers' at the SAGs

Jan 22, 2018 at 7:20 a.m. ET
Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

The 2018 SAG Awards moved at a fairly brisk clip on Sunday, Jan. 21, but there was one standout moment that needs to be lingered on for just a moment. You see, there were many notable moments during the evening's presentation, from first-time host Kristen Bell talking about the importance of telling everyone's story to Morgan Freeman making a memorable acceptance speech for his lifetime achievement award.

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But there was one moment that was especially poignant and worthy of a few tears, and it came courtesy of actors Marisa Tomei and Rosanna Arquette. These women made their presentation speech worth every second because they took time to give a shoutout and honor those women and men who have been overlooked or perhaps forgotten in the discussions around #MeToo and Time's Up. It made for one of the most unmissable, standout moments of the evening because it reminded us there are many women and men whose careers were ultimately ended because they spoke out against sexual assault and misconduct, but those women and men still need to be remembered.

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The women took to the stage on Sunday night and Arquette began. "We are honored to be part of this supportive and creative community, and we are inspired that so many powerful voices are no longer silenced by the fear of retaliation. We can control our own destiny."

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To this, Tomei turned to Arquette and said, "And Rosanna, you are one of those voices, you're one of the Silence Breakers. And we all owe you a debt of gratitude," which then got a loud round of applause from the crowd. Arquette appeared to be very overcome by the sweet sentiment and reminder of her own bravery because she had to take a second to compose herself as the applause continued. Then, she and Tomei honored a few women and one special man for their bravery in coming forward, even when it sometimes cost them their careers: Asia Argento, Annabella Sciorra, Ashley Judd, Daryl Hannah, Mira Sorvino, Olivia Munn and Anthony Rapp.

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This group of actors is notable for the fact that, with the arguable exception of Munn (although it doesn't take away from the fact she has experienced scrutiny), their careers have been permanently impacted in the long-term in regards to finding work or maintaining a level of visibility and accessibility to the public. We have only learned in recent months that these women were shut out from Hollywood or blackballed because they tried to speak out. But it was their continued effort to be heard that made for a long-lasting impact.

It was truly a necessary moment and a damn poignant one. Do as Tomei and Arquette did on Sunday night and don't forget the Silence Breakers.

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