Regina King kicked off the 93rd Academy Awards and she made sure to address the tumultuous times in which we are living.

After strutting through Los Angeles’ Union Station in her bold metallic blue dress – perfectly captured in a fittingly cinematic follow-shot – King took the Oscars stage and addressed both the global pandemic and also the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd.

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“It has been quite a year and we are still smack dab in the middle of it,” King said. “And I have to be honest, if things had come differently this past week in Minneapolis, I may have traded in my heels for marching boots.”

Seemingly aware of the conversations that inevitably emerge every year after the Oscars about Hollywood and politics, King added, “Now I know a lot of your people at home want to reach for your remote when you feel like Hollywood is preaching to you. But as the mother of a Black son, I know the fear that so many live with. And no amount of fame or fortune changes that. OK? But, tonight, we are here to celebrate.”

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King also addressed the mask rules during the ceremony. “Think of this as a movie set,” she said. “We been vaxxed, tested, retested and socially distanced, and we are following all of the rigorous protocols that got us back to work.”

You can watch a portion of her opening, below.