The Reporter also reports that “scattered boos and murmurs could be heard in the audience” when producer Mark Burnett was given an award for outstanding producer of competition television for "The Voice."
Burnett is the creator of “The Apprentice,” a competition reality show which first aired in 2004 and starred Donald Trump for 11 seasons. Burnett also produces the music competition show “The Voice,” and produced the miniseries “The Bible” and the film “Ben-Hur.”
Frank Rich, formerly of the New York Times and now a writer for New York magazine, was at the awards and tweeted that “hissing greeted @MarkBurnettTV when he won Producers Guild award for ‘The Voice’ just now.” Steve Pond, a writer for the Hollywood website The Wrap, tweeted the following: "Do I sense an air of hostility in the room as Mark Burnett accepts an award for The Voice? Yep. Boos, even. #PGAawards."
In October 2016 Burnett released a statement saying that he is not a political supporter of Trump.
While onstage to introduce a clip from the film Legend addressed Trump while onstage to introduce a clip from the film ”La La Land,” singer John Legend said the following:
Los Angeles is the home of so many immigrants, so many creative people, so many dreamers. Our America is big, it is free, and it is open to dreamers of all races, all countries, all religions. Our vision of America is directly antithetical to that of President Trump. I want to specifically tonight reject his vision and affirm that America has to be better than that.
According to the Reporter, there were other protests. Elizabeth and Nora Rothman, there to present their father Tom Rothman with the Milestone Award, appeared wearing pink kitten hats that were popular at the recent Women’s March on Washington. Tom Rothman is the chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.
Colin Firth, one of the producers of the film “Loving,” which dramatizes an interracial 1950s couple’s fight to get married, accepted an award by saying, "This is for Richard and Mildred Loving, the ACLU and for everyone whose families are being separated by the discrimination of others."
“20th Century Women” producer Megan Ellison, upon receiving the Visionary Award, told the crowd, "The scariest thing we can do now, or ever, is to shut up."
Accepting the best documentary feature award for “O.J.: Made in America,” producer and director Ezra Edelman said:
I'm standing here as a direct descendant of the Loving vs. Virginia decision, and it's heartening to be standing here on a night when we are honoring that incredible film and those two incredible people, and in a year when we've been honoring a movie like Moonlight that does focus on a character that is so often overlooked and marginalized, a movie like Arrival that is about inclusion and communication. Please, all the producers in the room, please keep telling stories about our humanity, about our country, about the world that we want to live in.