Arts & Entertainment

US actors, musicians celebrate Biden-Harris inauguration

By David Villafranca

Los Angeles, US, Jan 20 (efe-epa).- Hollywood and the United States’ entertainment world rolled out the red carpet Wednesday to celebrate the country’s new president, Joe Biden.

Confrontations, fights and reproaches. That’s the sour summary of the relationship between former president Donald Trump and the US music and film industries over the past four years.

But on Wednesday celebrities turned the page and chose to look to the future with hope in Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president, whom they supported during the electoral campaign with a practically seamless closing of ranks.

The “Celebrating America” special inauguration program broadcast on every major television network in the country, with the notable exception of Fox, unapologetically embraced American patriotism and appealed for unity, harmony and peace at the end of the Trump era. And no one in Hollywood better symbolizes that bridge of opposites than Tom Hanks, an actor revered in every corner of America and who hosted the show.

“In the last few weeks, in the last few years, we have witnessed deep divisions and a troubling rancour in our land,” he said. “But tonight, we ponder the United States of America: the practice of our democracy, the foundations of our republic, the integrity of our constitution, the hope and dreams we all share for a more perfect union.”

Bruce Springsteen was in charge of uncorking the evening at the Lincoln Memorial in the heart of the country’s capital.

“Good evening, America. I am proud to be here in cold Washington, DC, tonight,” said The Boss, before performing “Land of Hope and Dreams” just a few hundred meters from the Capitol that was assaulted two weeks ago by far-rightist Trump supporters.

With the spectacular organization and detail given to any event of this style in the US (fireworks are essential for the final touch), “Celebrating America” toured the country and connected from Washington with cities such as Nashville, Memphis, Seattle, New York and Los Angeles.

It also dared to leave Earth as astronauts of the International Space Station also had their moment of glory.

Regardless of styles and generations, the musical performances had a common theme: hope for tomorrow.

Katy Perry sang “Firework,” as they lit up the sky behind her, Jon Bon Jovi sang “Here Comes the Sun,” John Legend dealt with “Feeling Good,” Justin Timberlake performed “Better Days,” Foo Fighters offered “Times Like These,” and Demi Lovato brought back Bill Withers’ classic “Lovely Day.”

Between songs, and aside from a few brief speeches by Biden and Harris, social demands and tributes to essential workers, from doctors to teachers, also peppered the program.

Chef José Andrés asked that everyone join the fight against the hunger crisis that affects the US, while actress Kerry Washington underlined the history-making appointment of Harris as first female, first Black and first Asian-American US vice-president.

“She is the first, but she will not be the last,” she promised. EFE-EPA


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