Almost 2,000 flock to UTA's United Voices rally

Almost 2,000 flock to UTA's United Voices rally

Almost 2,000 people turned out for United Talent Agency's United Voices rally in protest at the Trump travel ban.

UTA, which represents music acts including Mariah Carey, DJ Khaled, Guns N' Roses, Muse, David Gilmour and Christine And The Queens, cancelled its traditional Academy Awards party to host the rally at its Los Angeles HQ on Friday.

Featured speakers included California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Jodie Foster, Michael J Fox, Reza Aslan, Keegan-Michael Key and Wilmer Valderrama. The gathering also featured live performances by DJ Cassidy, painter David Garibaldi, singer Ben Harper, Sam and Casey Harris of X Ambassadors, who debuted a new song - Hoping - which will benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.

“As the Oscars draw the world’s attention to our country and our community, we must raise our voices loud and clear: the politics of fear and division do not reflect who we are as a nation, and united we can do better,” said UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer.

Singer/songwriter Ben Harper added: "I figure the only thing protecting us from the country is that we love is one another so I’m proud to be here with you all today." 

Also addressing the crowd were International Rescue Committee president and CEO David Miliband and American Civil Liberties Union executive Hector Villagra.  The two organisations are the recipients of a $250,000 donation from UTA, as well as an additional $70,000 raised through the agency’s online CrowdRise campaign.

A highlight of the rally was taped remarks from Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, a UTA client. Nominated for an Academy Award for his film The Salesman, Farhadi made worldwide headlines after announcing he would not travel to the Oscars ceremony in protest of the proposed US ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

“I am grateful to the civility of my fellow filmmakers and the UTA family who have reacted responsibly to discrimination and injustice,” said Farhadi. “Filmmakers can break stereotypes around the world by turning their cameras to capture shared human qualities.” 

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