Among the hundreds of thousands of people marching in Washington for women’s rights on Saturday were a handful of famous faces.
The march began with a rally that featured a fiery speech by actress and immigration-reform advocate America Ferrera, a poem read by actorvist and onetime political candidate Ashley Judd, a passionate defense of Planned Parenthood by actress Scarlett Johansson, a call to action by singer Alicia Keys, and a profane rant by Madonna.
Ferrera kicked off the spirited rally. “Together, we will fight, resist, and oppose every single action that threatens the lives and dignity of any and all of our community,” said the actress, who is the chair of the organizing group’s “Artist’s Table,” to loud cheers from the massive crowd. “Our safety and freedoms are on the chopping block.”
Later in the program, Judd gave an animated performance of a poem called “Nasty Woman,” written by a young woman in her home state of Tennessee, that took jabs at President Trump. “I feel Hitler in these streets, a mustache traded for a toupee …” she said. “I’m not as nasty as your daughter being your favorite sex symbol.”
Johansson’s message was personal, as she shared stories of how her family and friends had relied on Planned Parenthood, which is facing budget cuts under the new GOP administration. The actress said elections had felt like “great weight on her shoulders” but as she urged the marchers to volunteer for women’s organizations, she said she came to see them as “an opportunity for real, long-term change to get involved and stay active in our communities.”
“I pledge my relentless devotion to the fight for reproductive health,” she said.
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) January 21, 2017
“Are you ready to march?” asked singer Alicia Keys, before reading the Maya Angelou poem “Still I Rise.”
Madonna, true to form, offered an expletive-laden introduction to a performance of the song “Human Nature.”
Former secretary of state John F. Kerry spent his first day in a long time as a private citizen by strolling with his dog through the crowd. C-SPAN cameras caught actress Olivia Wilde not-quite-blending-in among the protesters. And was Julia Roberts somewhere in the throng, perhaps going incognito in a pink hat?
Washington paparazzi Mark Wilkins spotted the A-list actress and her husband, Danny Moder, in town Thursday night, and speculation was that she would be marching.
— Marky Mark (@DCCelebrity) January 21, 2017
Celebrities joined in marches taking place around the country.
In Los Angeles, organizers expected actresses Natalie Portman and Kerry Washington and singer Barbra Streisand to join the march.