You might be seeing some Tony Award nominees wearing politics on their lapels tonight. There is a message behind the blue ribbons which were seen on the red carpet outside of Radio City Music Hall.
Who was behind this message? The ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and other organizations reached out to many nominees in advance asking them to demonstrate support by wearing ribbons.
In fact, Mark Hamill was spotted wearing a blue ribbon for the ACLU as he pointed off into the distance à la “Star Wars.” The actor will be onstage presenting an award later tonight. Then Scarlett Johansson was seen wearing one when giving out the first award of the night for the Tony Awards.
The ribbon symbolizes support for the organization which, according to the ACLU website, “has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”
Here are some reactions to the blue ribbons at the Tony Awards.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) June 12, 2017
Proud of the #TonyAwards for supporting the ACLU with the blue ribbons. That makes a beautiful suit spectacular.
— Clarice Michael (@ClariceMC) June 11, 2017
— Donna Kaz (@donnakaz) June 12, 2017
Writer Steven Levenson, nominated for the book of “Dear Evan Hansen,” also sported a royal blue ACLU ribbon as he made the rounds. When the organization contacted the “Hansen” publicity team about wearing the ribbon, Levenson was happy to do his part as he has been a supporter of the ACLU “in [his] own modest way” for many years.
“I found it exciting that they would come to us,” he told Variety. “I’m happy to support them at a time when their work is needed more than ever. They’re kind of like our lawyer right now.”
The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards® got their start in 1947 when the Wing established an awards program to celebrate excellence in the theatre.
Named for Antoinette Perry, an actress, director, producer, and the dynamic wartime leader of the American Theatre Wing who had recently passed away, the Tony Awards made their official debut at a dinner in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria hotel on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1947. Vera Allen, Perry’s successor as chairwoman of the Wing, presided over an evening that included dining, dancing, and a program of entertainment. The dress code was black tie optional, and the performers who took to the stage included Mickey Rooney, Herb Shriner, Ethel Waters, and David Wayne. Eleven Tonys were presented in seven categories, and there were eight special awards, including one for Vincent Sardi, proprietor of the eponymous eatery on West 44th Street. Big winners that night included José Ferrer, Arthur Miller, Helen Hayes, Ingrid Bergman, Patricia Neal, Elia Kazan and Agnes de Mille.
Kevin Spacey hosts the 71st Annual Tony Awards tonight at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
What do you think of the nominees and presenters wearing the blue ribbons at the Tony Awards? Do you agree or disagree with their message? Let us know in the comments section.