Actresses Alyssa Milano, Lupita Nyong'o, Whoopi Goldberg, Amber Tamblyn and Patricia Arquette were among hundreds of thousands of activists who marched to promote women's rights and equality and protest against President Donald Trump's policies on Saturday, the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.
These are the second such Women's March rallies in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York and other cities. For the second year, scores of participants wore pink knit cat-eared "pussy hats," a symbol of female empowerment created in response to Trump's now-infamous offensive comments made to Billy Bush on a hot-mic 2005 Access Hollywood tape.
"I really want you guys to look around at each other," Milano told the crowd at the Women's March on Atlanta. "I want you to look around and I want you to realize, that this, this right here is what democracy looks like. It doesn't happen automatically. It demands our action and participation. It challenges us but it also empowers us because at the end of the day, it is us."
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) January 20, 2018
This year's Women's March events come amid a growing #MeToo movement of people speaking out against sexual assault and harassment, sparked by accusations of misconduct made against a growing number of powerful men in and outside of Hollywood, namely producer Harvey Weinstein. Milano promoted the hashtag, founded more than a decade ago by activist Tarana Burke, last October.
"With those two words, we regained our dignity and #MeToo connected us through our pain but it also connected us, and this is very important," Milano said. "it connected us each one of us to our own power and by saying #MeToo, we formed a bond that is unbreakable. We formed a movement that is unstoppable and when time comes time to vote, you're gonna prove that it's also unbeatable."
The 2018 midterm elections to elect members of Congress take place in November.
"Voting is how we prove that our country is so much bigger and kinder than one man that is in the White House," she said. "The good news is that in a democracy like ours, the real power is not with him, it is with you. Let me tell you, we've got a whole lot more love and hope on our side than they have a--holes."
Milano then led the crowd in a chant, saying, "I believe that we will win!"
Nyong'o tweeted a photo of herself wearing a "Time's Up" t-shirt, on her way to speak at the march in New York City. She was one of the women who accused Weinstein of sexual harassment.
— Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) January 20, 2018
Oscar award winner Goldberg also attended the march in New York and made a surprise speech, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "The only way we’re going to make a change is if we commit to change. We have to decide that the people who represent us have to represent all of us. They can’t represent some of us,” Goldberg said during her speech.
Other celebrity participants included Melissa Gilbert and Piper Perabo, actor Javier Muoz and Halsey, Padma Lakshmi and Rosie Perez, both of whom spoke at the New York march. Perez ended her speech with a triumphant, "Power to the p---y y'all!"
Halsey, whose given name is Ashley Frangipane, recited a powerful "Me Too" poem in New York City, detailing sexual assaults she, and other people in her life, experienced.
"We are not free until all of us are free. So love your neighbors. Please, treat her kindly. Ask her her story, and then shut up and listen. Black, Asian, poor, wealthy, trans, cis, Muslim, Christian, listen. Listen, and then yell at the top of your lungs. Be a voice for all those who have prisoner tounges, for the people who had to grow up way too young. There is work to be done. There are songs to be sung. Lord knows there is war to be won," Frangipane said.
Other scheduled speakers at Women's March demonstrations include Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Alyssa Milano, Olivia Munn, Allison Janney and Viola Davis, while performers include Idina Menzel and Andra Day.
Tamblyn, Arquette and Perabo marched in New York and posted photos and videos from their march. The stars have spoken out publicly against sexual misconduct and the former two have detailed their own past experiences.
Arquette marched with the women's organization ERA Yes! and shared a selfie with a man who carried a sign promoting the group and also reading "Time's Up"--a nod to the Time's Up fundraising campaign to help sexual harassment victims.
Actress Chlo Grace Moretz joined scores of people at the Respect Rally Park City in Park City, Utah. The event took place during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
Rapper Common also among the male celebrities who attended marches. He performed a short rap about equality at Park City march.
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) January 20, 2018
A Women's March also took place in Rome, Italy. There, actress Asia Argento, another one of Weinstein's accusers, joined the crowd.
NBC Editor Kiki Intarasuwan contributed to this report.