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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 February, 2003, 16:45 GMT
Stars speak out for peace
Sheryl Crow receives her Grammy for best female rock vocal performance
Sheryl Crow made a muted protest at the Grammys
Stars at the Baftas and Grammys have joined a growing wave of celebrities using their high-profile platforms to protest against war.

Bafta-winning director Pedro Almodovar and fellowship recipient Saul Zaentz were among those making political comments at Sunday's British Academy film awards in London.

Musicians Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt and Fred Durst also made low-key protests at Sunday's Grammys in New York amid reports that organisers had tried to discourage political comment.

The outspoken stars have joined a growing band of showbusiness names who have come out against the prospect of a US-led conflict with Iraq.

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar used his acceptance speech at the Baftas to make a lengthy literary comment about the "darkness" of war.

And after receiving a Bafta fellowship, veteran producer Saul Zaentz attacked the US government's policy on Iraq.

"In the words of Martin Luther King, we shall overcome, and we will," he said to applause.

Earlier, Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal took his moment to highlight the scale of peace protests.

Pedro Almodovar receives a Bafta for film not in the English language
Pedro Almodovar spoke of the "darkness" of war
As he announced a prize shortlist, he said: "Last week millions of people voted against war in Iraq and we still don't have any answer.

"But also last week, 10 people voted for best cinematography, and we have the results."

According to one news website, Sheryl Crow said she was warned against making anti-war statements during the live TV broadcast of the Grammys - a charge denied by Grammy officials.

The Drudge Report site said that Grammy officials had called Crow's management and told her to refrain from protest.

"I was (going to do something) and then the Grammy committee called up my manager... they said they wanted to keep it all neutral," Crow was reported as saying.

However, Grammy officials strenuously denied making any such intervention.

"No one contacted any artist to talk about content," said Grammy president Neil Portnow.

Crow opted for a silent statement, sporting the words No War on her guitar strap.

Bonnie Raitt, presenting the record of the year Grammy to Norah Jones, said: "Let's build some peace."

Ms Dynamite receiving the best urban act award at the Brits
Ms Dynamite sang pro-peace lyrics at the Brits
Fred Durst, singer with rock band Limp Bizkit, said: "I hope we really are in (agreement) that this war should go away as soon as possible."

At the Brits awards on Thursday, UK artists also had their say on a possible conflict.

Ms Dynamite performed a reworked version of George Michael's track Faith which included the line: "I don't want blood on my hands."

Coldplay singer Chris Martin commented that "we're all going to die if George Bush has his way" as he accepted an award.

Dozens of actors, film-makers, musicians and writers support the anti-war campaign which culminated in the huge march in London on 15 February.

Hollywood protests

Declared opponents to war include actors Jim Broadbent and Richard E Grant, musicians Craig David and Peter Gabriel, rock band Travis and writers Will Self, Iain Banks and Nick Hornby.

Hollywood names who have spoken out include George Clooney, Martin Sheen, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Salma Hayek and Sean Penn.

But on the pro-war side, Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg have publicly endorsed President Bush's policy.

However, as the awards season reaches its climax with the Academy Awards on 23 March, there is speculation that some actors may use Oscars night to further attack the US position.

Brits winners attack war plans
21 Feb 03 |  Entertainment
Performers unite for peace
14 Feb 03 |  Entertainment
Musical stars' anti-war protest
14 Feb 03 |  Entertainment
Stars join anti-war protest
21 Jan 03 |  Politics

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