Ava DuVernay Delivers Powerful Speech About Prison Reform at 2020 Critics' Choice Awards

Ava DuVernay delivered an empowering speech about prison reform and doing the right thing at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards.

By Alyssa Morin Jan 13, 2020 1:42 AMTags
Ava DuVernay, 2020 Critics Choice Awards, ShowAmy Sussman/Getty Images

Awards season is officially in full swing!

Even though the 2020 Golden Globes kicked things off this year, the celebration is still going strong as the entertainment industry honors the best of the best in television and film. And that's exactly what tonight is all about at the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards.

Hollywood's latest and greatest arrived at the annual ceremony in Santa Monica, Calif. wearing their Sunday best. But aside from seeing fierce and fabulous fashion, there was one moment at the star-studded event that really stole the show: Ava DuVernay's powerful speech after winning Best Limited Series for When They See Us.

"Thank you for standing, that's very kind," she began, as the Netflix cast stood right by her side on the stage, including Niecy Nash, Asante Blackk and Jharrel Jerome. "Thank you to the critics for finally letting us take a stage. Yeah!"

Critics' Choice Awards 2019 Red Carpet Fashion

"We made a four-hour, five-part film that was an act of love," she continued. "179 actors, 117 of them having speaking parts, 312 members of the crew, my 3 co-writers, my comrades at Array, my fellow producers at participant Tribeca and Harpo and our great champions at Netflix, who let a Black woman do her thing. What can I say."

Watch: Ava DuVernay Talks "Long Delayed" Justice In "When They See Us"

"This series began with a tweet from Raymond Santana and now he, Antron McCrayKevin RichardsonYusef Salaam and the mighty Korey Wise, stand for something larger than they ever imagined," the director shared. "They stand for justice, they shine bright like the gems they always were but that we never saw. If you watch their story and felt something in that moment, I invite you to consider doing something."

She continued, "There's no right thing to do. Do what you feel, where you are but don't let your anger and sadness be all. Cases like this are happening all around the world, in this country, most specifically on our watch. People who are poor and innocent are behind bars, while the rich and guilty walk free and gain power."

The When They See Us director left audiences with an inspiring message by late poet, Audre Lorde.

For the latest updates on winners, fashion and more, E! has you covered. Read all about it, here.

Latest News