(EDGE) At the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday night, Mahershala Ali took home the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for "Moonlight" and gave an emotional acceptance speech rivaling Meryl Streep's passionate speech at the Golden Globes earlier this month.
Ali, who converted to Islam in 2000, said playing the sympathetic drug dealer Juan in "Moonlight," a coming-of-age story about a boy growing up poor, black and gay in Miami, taught him acceptance and used his acceptance speech to take aim at President Donald Trump's immigration ban.
"I think what I've learned from working on 'Moonlight' is we see what happens when we persecute people," he said. "They fold into themselves-what I was so grateful about in having the opportunity to play Juan was playing a gentleman who saw a young man folding into himself, as the result of the persecution of his community, and taking the opportunity to uplift him, tell him that he mattered, that he was okay, accept him. And I hope that we do a better job of that."
Ali, who also stars in "Hidden Figures" which took home the SAG's biggest prize Sunday, went on to say: "When we get caught up in the minutiae, the details that make us all different, there's two ways of seeing that. You can see the texture of that person, the qualities that make them unique, or you can go to war about it, say, 'That person is different from me, I don't like you, so let's battle.'"
Ali was also nominated for a Golden Globe for his "Moonlight" role and is also up for an Oscar.
You can view Ali’s acceptance speech at http://bit.ly/2jvzcpa