Red buttons on red carpets are a call for Gaza cease-fire

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Little red buttons have been popping up on red carpet outfits at a variety of recent awards events. Perhaps most prominently, all three members of the band Boygenius wore them as they picked up three recent Grammy awards. And “Bottoms” filmmaker Emma Seligman wore one at the Spirit Awards.

The buttons represent the group Artists4Ceasefire, which, within a few weeks of Hamas militants’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel that sparked the current conflict in the region, had published an open letter signed by hundreds of celebrities calling for a peaceful resolution.

The open letter addressed to President Biden begins, “We come together as artists and advocates, but most importantly as human beings witnessing the devastating loss of lives and unfolding horrors in Israel and Palestine.”

The letter continues, “We urge your administration, Congress, and all world leaders, to honor all of the lives in the Holy Land and call for and facilitate a ceasefire without delay — an end to the bombing of Gaza, and the safe release of hostages. Half of Gaza’s two million residents are children, and more than two thirds are refugees and their descendants being forced to flee their homes. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach them.”

It concludes, “Beyond our pain and mourning for all of the people there and their loved ones around the world, we are motivated by an unbending will to stand for our common humanity. We stand for freedom, justice, dignity and peace for all people — and a deep desire to stop more bloodshed. We refuse to tell future generations the story of our silence, that we stood by and did nothing.”

Director Emma Seligman arrives at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in February.

(Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)

Current Oscar nominees American Ferrera, Bradley Cooper, Lily Gladstone and Mark Ruffalo all signed the open letter, with other notable names including Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, Quinta Brunson, Joaquin Phoenix, Ryan Coogler, Dua Lipa, Jessica Chastain, Florence Pugh, Kirsten Dunst, Jordan Peele, Lupita Nyong’o, Cate Blanchett, Mahershala Ali, Rachel McAdams, Jenna Ortega and Patti Smith.

Last month’s Spirit Awards were interrupted by an audible pro-Palestinian protest outside the Santa Monica venue, prompting the show’s host Aidy Bryant and some presenters and winners to refer to the conflict from the podium.

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