The ongoing conflict in Ukraine amid the Russian invasion was on everyone’s minds at the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday. Stars wore pins of the Ukrainian flag on the red carpet and shared their prayers with the people of the nation.

Brian Cox, however, dedicated much of his acceptance speech to the horrifying tragedy as he spoke on behalf of the cast of “Succession” after the show took home the award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series.

“It’s really, really awful what’s happening,” Cox began, explaining that there are many reasons that the global community of performers should be particularly invested in the ongoing invasion. “The president of Ukraine was a comic, you know, he was a wonderful comic performer. And we should respect that for him and to come to the presidency was amazing.”

“But the thing that is really distressed me is what’s happening in Russia, to my fellow actors and actresses and performers and writers and critics,” Cox continued. “They are told under pain of high treason they cannot say a word about Ukraine. And I think that is pretty awful.”

“For those people — the people in Russia who don’t like what’s going on, and particularly the artists — I think we should join and celebrate them and hope that they can make a shift, as I believe they can,” Cox concluded to resounding applause.

Leslie Odom Jr. — who helped open the show alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda and Daveed Diggs — also delivered a brief message after the first award of the night was given out, sharing, “While tonight is a celebration, we are all at the same time holding a place in our hearts for the people of Ukraine and sending our thoughts, prayers, and hopes for impending peace.”

Ahead of the show, several stars also wore pins with the colours of Ukraine’s flag to express their support for the nation.

Tyler Perry. Photo: CAROLINE BREHMAN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Tyler Perry. Photo: CAROLINE BREHMAN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Michael Douglas. Photo: CraSH/imageSPACE/Shutterstock
Michael Douglas. Photo: CraSH/imageSPACE/Shutterstock

The 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards air live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Stay tuned to ETonline.com for complete coverage of the 2022 awards season. Check here for a look at all the night’s big winners.

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