Andrew Garfield dedicates Tony Award to LGBT community


Andrew Garfield accepting his Tony Award

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Andrew Garfield has dedicated his Tony Award to the LGBT community.

The British-American won best actor for his role in Angels in America, which explores the Aids crisis in the US during the 1980s.

Andrew said his character “represents the purest spirit of humanity and especially that of the LGBTQ community”.

“So I dedicate this award to the countless LGBTQ who have fought and died to protect that spirit,” he said.

Andrew’s character in Angels in America, Prior Walter, is a gay man living with HIV at a time when the rights of LGBT people were under threat.

The former Spider-Man actor said that in 2018 “maybe the most important thing we remember right now is the sanctity of the human spirit”.

“It is that spirit that says no to oppression, it is a spirit that says no to bigotry, no to shame, no to exclusion,” he said specifically of the LGBT community.

“It is a spirit that says we were all made perfectly, and we all belong.

“So I dedicate this award to the countless LGBTQ who have fought and died to protect that spirit. To protect that message for the right to live and love as we are created to.”

More than 37 million people are currently living with HIV/Aids – a disease which attacks the immune system – according to the World Health Organisation.

Angels in America – a two-part play which lasts almost eight hours – was first shown in 1991, but Andrew told Newsbeat last year that the play’s message is still relevant.

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Image caption

Andrew played Prior in the show at the National Theatre in London before it moved to Broadway

“It asks ‘What do we do when our lives are being threatened, when the powers that be don’t deem our particular community worthy enough?'” he said.

“Look at the man who is in the White House right now. This system is failing humanity. Not just the LGBTQ community – anyone who is not a straight, white male.”

In his acceptance speech, the 33-year-old also mentioned a recent Supreme Court decision which ruled in favour of a bakery that refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

“Let’s just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked,” he said.

Elsewhere at the Tony Awards, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child picked up six awards – but the Mean Girls musical, based on the 2004 film, went away empty-handed after receiving 12 nominations.

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