Tony Shalhoub thanks immigrants after winning Best Actor at Tonys
Actor Tony Shalhoub used his acceptance speech at the Tony Awards on Sunday night to thank immigrants, highlighting his father’s own immigration story.
Shalhoub, winning the award for best leading actor in a musical for his performance in “The Band’s Visit,” used his speech to connect his win to his father’s immigration to the U.S. from Lebanon in 1920.
“He was then just a boy of 8. Disembarked on Ellis Island, just a few short miles from this very spot,” Shalhoub said. “So tonight I celebrate him and all of those whose family journeyed before him and with him and after him.”
“And I feel that this extremely generous gesture of yours honors not only their aspirations, their courage, their resourcefulness and their creativity, and their selflessness,” he continued.
“May we, their descendants, never lose sight of what they taught us,” Shalhoub added.
The former “Monk” star won for his role as Tewfiq in “The Band’s Visit,” which tells the story of an Egyptian police band ending up in a small Israeli town.
Immigration has been at the forefront of the national conversation amid the Trump administration’s crackdown at the border.
The administration has recently been criticized for enforcing a policy separating children and parents who arrive at the U.S. border seeking asylum. The president has blamed Democrats for the policy, calling on them to take action to change it.