Hollywood stars used last night’s 89th Academy Awards ceremony to speak out about the ongoing Southern Rail industrial dispute. 
Hollywood stars used last night’s 89th Academy Awards ceremony to speak out about the ongoing Southern Rail industrial dispute. Prior to the show there were concerns that the ceremony would be overshadowed by actors making political statements about American President Donald Trump. In the event this wasn’t an issue, with actors instead focusing on the current industrial dispute at Southern Rail over the introduction of driver-only operated trains. 
 
The political focus was initiated by host Jimmy Kimmel, who made a number of references to the Southern Rail dispute during his opening monologue. He noted that the Oscar for best actor goes to one person ‘showing that, despite what the rail unions thinks, one individual can take on a lot of responsibility’. He went on to describe the strikes as ‘embarrassing’ and expressed a hope that the dispute ‘will be resolved in the near future’. 
 
Other Hollywood stars also waded into the dispute, with several taking the side of the striking train conductors. Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, who was presenting the award for best animated feature, told the audience that he ‘understood’ the concerns of the striking conductors and was worried about the impact of driver-only operated trains ‘on customer safety’. 
 
The interventions weren’t universally welcomed by the railways community, with the editor of Trains Magazine describing the actors as a ‘bunch of bloody luvvies who should keep their opinions to themselves’. 
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