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Honoring the Memory of Those Killed in Florida; Oxfam Sex Crime Scandal; All 65 People on Board Presumed Dead; Israel and Iran Trade Warnings; An Inside Look at Troll Farms and Benefactors; Olympics Fans Flock to Virtual Reality Stations; Stars Wear Black to BAFTAs for #TimesUp. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired February 19, 2018 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[00:00:11] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Honoring the memory of those children in Parkland Florida as some survivors blast U.S. President Trump for his response to the tragedy.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns Iran Israel will not allow Tehran to establish what he calls a noose of terror in the region. We'll have the response from the Iranian foreign minister.
And politics take center stage at this year's BAFTA awards. We'll have a live report -- excuse me, a report from the red carpet in London.
It's all ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM.
We're live in Atlanta. Thank you for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen.
We get started right now.
Our top story -- outrage turning into action in the state of Florida. A deadly school shooting killed 17 people there last Wednesday. Now many of the survivors say they'll march on Washington to demand tougher gun laws. They're calling it the "march for our lives" and wants students to descend on the Capitol March 24th. Survivors and supporters held this rally Saturday to condemn lawmakers beholden to the gun industry.
They're also slamming U.S. President Donald Trump after he tried to pin the shooting on the FBI and the Russia probe. The President tweeted this on Saturday. "Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They're spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. There is no collusion. Get back to the basic and make us all proud."
Here are some of the responses to the President. They appear to be from students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. One wrote, "My friends were brutally murdered and you have the nerve to make this about Russia. I cannot believe this."
Another tweeted, "Oh my God. Seventeen of my classmates and friends are gone. And you have the audacity to make this about Russia. Have a damn heart. You can keep all of your fake and meaningless 'thoughts and prayers'."
It is possible that President Trump will face some of that ire in person this week. He has plans to meet with high school students and teachers to talk about school safety on Wednesday.
We get more about that from Boris Sanchez.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An interesting item being added to the President's schedule for this week on Sunday afternoon. On Wednesday, the White House announcing that the President will be hosting a listening session with some high school students and teachers to talk about campus safety.
Wasn't clear right now is exactly who the President is going to be hearing from. The White House not telling us if he's going to be hosting survivors from last Wednesday's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Senior High School in Parkland, Florida which is only about 40 miles from where the President is spending his long weekend at Mar-a- Lago.
Sources telling CNN that the President opted not to go golfing on Saturday or Sunday, in part to show respect to the victims and families of that shooting. However the President is staying inside and sources tell CNN that he is watching cable news and growing frustrated with what he sees, the President apparently having dinner with his two sons Eric and Donald Trump, Jr. on Saturday night.
And sources tell CNN that they encouraged him to be tougher on the FBI after it was revealed that the FBI mishandled a tip about the shooter involved in Las Wednesday's attack.
The President apparently went to the residence at around 10:00 p.m. and that at 11:00 p.m. we started seeing the beginning of this tweet storm. The President going on some 13 tweets attacking some of his favorite targets including Democrats, the media as well as his own national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
One tweet in particular raised a lot of eyebrows and drew anger from some of the survivors of the shooting. Here is that tweet now. The President writing quote, "Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They're spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. There is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud."
That tweet getting several responses from some of the survivors of the shooting at the high school, many of them upset with the President saying that he crossed the line by making this all about himself.
We got a chance to ask them, our colleague Fredricka Whitfield asked some of those students if they would take part in that listening session with the President. They told us that they would not be approaching the President.
Boris Sanchez, CNN -- traveling with the President in West Palm Beach, Florida.
[00:04:55] ALLEN: Survivors of the tragedy say they want it to be the last school shooting. Here's what some of them told CNN's Dana Bash about how they're trying to make that happen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMA GONZALEZ, STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: We are quite at that point where we have worked long, hard hours to make sure that this goes forward the way that we want it to and stay strong the way that we're staying strong and the way that the people around us need us to be.
That's how we're going to be facing this. We're going to be facing this with trepidation and determination and we have an incredible support system around us and we are going to be the difference.
DANA BASH, CNN HOST: And Cameron Kasky (ph), what is your message to the nation's leaders after what you have been through?
CAMERON KASKY, STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: The reason we are starting March for Our Lives and doing this on March 24th is we've been hearing a lot that this is not the time to talk about gun control. And we can respect that. We've lost people. It's important to mourn.
Here's the time to talk about gun control -- March 24th. My message for the people in office is you're either with us or against us. We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Funerals are being held for many of the 17 lives lost Wednesday. South Florida has been devastated by the tragedy and families are grapping with how to heal.
For that part of the story, here's CNN's Kaylee Hartung.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This south Florida community continues to mourn the loss of 17 lives after last Wednesday's fatal shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.
Scott Beigel, a 35-year-old geography teacher was among those laid to rest on Sunday. He's been hailed as a hero over the last week because of his actions in the final moment of his life trying to protect his students from the gunman. But his friends and family reminded us he was a hero for more than his final moment, also for the way that he lived his life.
The impact that he had on his students, those athletes that he coached on the school's cross country team and also the campers that he counseled at a summer camp he began attending as a child. He was remembered for his compassion and kindness; also his humor and wit.
Alex Schachter was also remembered. A young man who loved music, this 14-year-old played the trombone and the baritone in the school's marching band and orchestra. He was one of four children who had already endured the loss of their mother in 2008.
We also remember the life of Jaime Guttenberg, a young talented and beautiful dancer. Orange was her favorite color. So dancers across this country could be seen over the weekend in competition wearing orange ribbons to remember her.
Alex and Jaime both had brothers who also attended Stoneman Douglas though they both escaped last Wednesday without harm.
On Monday the life of Luke Hoyer will be remembered -- a 15-year-old who is the youngest of three kids. He loved the game of basketball, playing video games and eating anything sweet, his family said.
This community continues to mourn and heal.
In Parkland, Florida -- Kaylee Hartung, CNN.
ALLEN: For more now, let's turn to our guests: Larry Sabato is director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. He comes to us via Skype in Charlottesville. Hello to you -- Larry.
LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Hello -- Natalie.
ALLEN: And also with us John Thomas -- a CNN political commentator who comes to us from Los Angeles, also via Skype.
Hey John -- thank you for being with us.
JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hi.
ALLEN: Much to discuss here regarding the shooting in Florida. We want to start though with one of President Trump's tweets regarding the shooting. It somehow ended up being though about the Russia story.
Here it is. Let me read it for you now.
"Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. There is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud."
John -- what's your response to this? Do you have an issue with his turning this toward collusion and seeming to focus on the fact that he's still innocent here? THOMAS: I think that the President is frustrated -- Natalie, because the recent indictment with the 13 Russian trolls for Russia continue to show that Mueller and his investigation has yet to produce any real collusion. It's sucking up massive amounts of government resources.
At the same the FBI is failing to do their essential job which is to vet threats to the homeland -- real tangible threats which we knew in the case of the Florida shooter, that it was a failure of law enforcement to do their basic job.
ALLEN: So you don't think it shows any lack of leadership or support on the President's part that he goes there and links these two issues?
THOMAS: No, I don't. I mean I think the President is frustrated with the whole -- what he calls the Russia hoax (ph), in general so that's obviously top of mind for him.
[00:10:04] But a bigger issue really is why did the FBI fail, not just to identify the shooter that should have been obviously identified via tip line in Florida, but they didn't identify the Las Vegas shooter or these other shooters. There is a systemic problem with the FBI at the same time that all the public focus that the FBI continues to do seems to be on this Russia thing that has to date yield no fruit.
ALLEN: So you're focusing as well on the FBI more so than the gun situation?
Let me get Larry's response to that.
SABATO: Well, I certainly agree this is was a major slip-up by the FBI with tragic consequences and certainly the FBI is going to have to get to the bottom of it and correct the problems.
But these are two very separate issues -- the Florida school shooting and the Russia probe. It's certainly not a hoax. The Russia probe is real and it has to do a lot more than collusion between Donald Trump or the Trump campaign and the Russians.
This has to do with a foreign power, a hostile power. Interfering in a major way with an American presidential election and basically getting away with it. And what a president should be doing, any president of either party, is putting first in his tweets and his pronouncements in his administration a prohibition on foreign governments ever doing this again and making it very clear that it will never again be tolerated.
Where are these pronouncements from President Trump? They're nowhere to be found because he's obsessed with his personal situation as he demonstrated with the ridiculous tweet storm Sunday morning.
ALLEN: And yes. I mean he is still in certain respects hiding behind Twitter instead of coming out and addressing the nation on the issue of Russia and as well as this massacre.
I want to talk about the massacre. Last fall the deadliest ever, more than 50 people gunned down at a concert in Vegas. No movement came out of that. Then, a church shot up in Texas; no movement came out of that.
What is it about this kids John -- this high school in Florida that may spark a movement that has teeth? Let's start with listening to the mother of a Sandy Hook elementary school massacre student. Her son was killed at the school. This is what she had to say about what these students are doing in Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLE HOCKLEY, MOTHER OF SANDY HOOK VICTIM: Momentum has continued to build since Sandy Hook. What is different about Parkland is that these are the actual kids speaking out. My son Dillon was far too young to have a voice. The survivors from his classroom were too young to have a voice.
These are teenagers. There are intelligent young people who know what they want and they know how to articulate their pain and their needs. And therefore we really need to listen to them.
This isn't parents advocating for their children. These are kids advocating for themselves and saying help us, listen to us. Keep us safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Are these high school kids going to be able to do something where others have failed as far as assault rifles and the epidemic of massacres -- John?
THOMAS: No, I don't think they're going to make a difference on the issue of guns in particular because you've a party, the Republican Party and Trump's a part of that party that doesn't fundamentally believe that a law, a single law or even multiple laws would have prevented the shooter. I mean in Sandy Hook for instance when that happened there was an assault rifle ban -- didn't stop that shooter from getting an assault rifle.
ALLEN: They have now changed the laws though in that state; and it has seen a, you know, a reduction in shooting.
THOMAS: Right. Well, I think what these children's passionate voices are going to encourage is real after-action tangible list of recommendations to harden these soft targets to keep our schools safer. And also look at how our law enforcement, both local and federal communicate with one another just like we did after 9/11 when it turned out the left hand wasn't talking to the right hand.
So I think they're going to force some kind of change here but I don't think we're going to see (INAUDIBLE).
ALLEN: Larry -- you get the last word here on this situation.
SABATO: Well look, I'm rooting for them. I think a large majority of e Americans are rooting for them. They are doing the right thing and they're trying to accomplish something that no one else and no other generation recently been able to accomplish.
I'm less pessimistic than usual but I'm still pessimistic that we will any major change in gun law. I do agree with John that there are other changes that have to be made. Maybe they can create momentum for those changes.
ALLEN: We'll wait and see. A lot of people are pulling for these students because of their passion and their pain.
Thank you both. Thomas Thomas, Larry Sabato -- thank you.
SABATO: Thank you.
ALLEN: And again, the students are marching on Washington March 24. We'll see what happens.
One prominent political donor is trying to push Republican politicians to take action on guns and he is putting his money where his mouths.
[00:15:01] Republican real estate developer Al Hoffman says he won't cut any checks for candidates or political groups who do not support a ban on assault weapons. Hoffman says the scenes of the Parkland school shooting last Wednesday urged him to act.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL HOFFMAN, REPUBLICAN REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER: When that tragedy occurred now I thought my God what can we do. And the only thought that came to me is that now I've got to adopt a plan whereby we contact every Republican donor around the country to endorse the adoption of a ban on assault weapons. The majority of people in the country are for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Be sure to tune in to a CNN town hall this week with students, parents and others impacted by the Florida school shooting, "STANDUP: THE STUDENTS OF STONEMAN DOUGLAS DEMAND ACTION" airs live on Thursday here at CNN at 10:00 in the morning Hong Kong time. That's 9:00 p.m. Wednesday in New York. We hope you will watch.
Now an update to the Russia investigation that President Trump continues to denounce. Former Trump presidential campaign aide Rick Gates has agreed to testify against former campaign chairman Paul Manafort; that, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The report says Gates will plead guilty to fraud charges and in return for a lesser sentence, he will cooperate with Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
Iranian authorities are fearing the worst as they investigate a plane crash in a mountain range. We will tell you about that ahead here.
Plus Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran wants to dominate the world. And he used a piece of dark green metal to make his point. [00:16:45] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ALLEN: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.
We are learning about new revelations in the Oxfam sex crime scandal. The aid agency has released an internal report from 2011. It details how the agency dealt with allegations of sexual crimes by some of its staff working in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
The report revealed that after the agency launched an internal investigation, three of the accused Oxfam workers physically threatened and intimidated one of the witnesses. According to the report, the program director admitted to having sex with prostitutes at his Oxfam residence. That contradicts what the program director told Belgian media last week when he denied paying prostitutes for sex.
On Friday Oxfam announced it will not request new funding from the U.K. government until safe guards against misconduct are in place. The aid agency has apologized but denied there was a cover-up about the scandal. >
All 65 people on board a plane that crashed in the snowy mountain range in southern Iran are presumed dead. Aseman Airlines says on Sunday the twin engine turbo prop disappeared less an hour into a flight from Tehran to Yasuj.
Worried relatives of some of the passengers gathered at the airport in Yasuj to wait for any news on the rescue effort. The cause of the crash, of course, is under investigation and they just have received no news at this point because of the conditions.
And Ivan Cabrera, our meteorologist is here. And he has been covering that part of the story for us. It's got to be just maddening for these folks that don't have any information yet.
IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I can't imagine. And unfortunately the weather is just going to continue, I think to delay search and rescue efforts, not only because it is snowing and the visibility is low but also the terrain itself. They have to deal with that.
So let's talk about that because these mountains are quite something as far as elevation here. And that little village is here and they're kind of nestled in through some of the gorges here.
But generally we are looking at well, peaks upwards of 4,400 meters, imagine that -- 14,435 feet. And on top of that, of course, we've been snowing as well. Rain across the lower elevations but higher up you go, obviously the colder it is and the precip is coming down in the form of rainfall.
Area of low pressure to the west, kind of slow moving -- you can kind of see the spin there. It just continues to pivot all sorts of moisture across the region and that has resulted in low clouds. That has resulted in low visibility and that's what been causing the delays to get hopefully folks rescued out there as we check in our forecast radar we'll continue to see that rain and snow band moving in.
The winds, not so much as far as any gusts are concern here. But there's the forecast. By the way this is at Yasuj which is much lower as far as the elevation. That's about essentially 1,800 meters talking about a little rain fall there but otherwise conditions not looking all that great.
Although improvements to the middle part of the week, although at that obviously, you know, each day obviously that continues to move on here. It's going to be quite difficult for everyone.
ALLEN: Certainly see what they are up against now. Ivan -- thank you.
Israel and Iran are trading jabs a week after they were involved in military clashes in Syria. The Israeli Prime Minister singled out Iran at a security conference we've been covering in Munich. Benjamin Netanyahu is accusing Iran of wanting to dominate the world through aggression and terror. Iran was quick to respond.
Our Nic Robertson has more now from Munich.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: One of the big concerns of this security conference has been Syria. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel issuing a very stern warning for Iran who he said was developing ballistic missile capable of hitting beyond the region right across the world.
He said that Iran has an agenda to expand its influence into Syria, to build military bases, naval bases, air bases within the country, to build a bridge essentially he said between Tehran and Beirut in Lebanon.
This was something he said Israel was not going to allow to happen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[00:24:52] BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Israel will not allow Iran's regime to put a noose of terror around our neck. We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves. And we will act if necessary not just against Iran's proxies that are attacking us but against Iran itself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: At one point in his speech, Netanyahu holding up what he said was a piece of an Iranian drone flown into Israeli airspace. When I spoke at the conference here with the U.N. Secretary-General he told me he was very concerned about Israel's growing involvement in the Syria conflict, that it could spark a third escalation.
When he took the platform a little later however, Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif responded to Netanyahu's statements by calling it a cartoonish portrayal that didn't require, didn't justify a response. However when he was asked a question about Iran's red line, particularly when it comes to the nuclear deal, the JCPOA, with the United States and many other nations he said that if Iran's interests weren't respected that was also a line for them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): If Iran's interests are not secured, Iran will respond, will respond seriously and I believe it would be a response that people will be sorry for taking the erroneous actions. We will not be the first ones to violate an agreement for which all of us tried in spite of Netanyahu's attempts to achieve. We achieved it in spite of him. We implement it in spite of him and the world will maintain that agreement in spite of his delusional attempts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: A lot of other security issues discussed at this conference but Syria really highlighting some of the deep divisions that still exist. Former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry said it was time for real and artful diplomacy to try to bring and end to that conflict. No indication that this conference for that is anywhere near close.
Nic Robertson, CNN -- Munich.
ALLEN: We're going to take you somewhere next you may never have been before -- a troll farm. CNN goes inside a Russian factory that produce ads and messages designed to cause discord in American society.
ALLEN (voice-over): Welcome back to the program to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories.
ALLEN: President Trump does not see Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups for election meddling as a victory. Instead he blames political discord in the U.S. on the Russian investigation itself and tweeted Sunday that, quote, "They are laughing their asses off in Moscow."
But as CNN's Matthew Chance explains, the Russian troll factories that produced fake political ads during the election are very real and the people behind them have very real goals.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the only glimpse we have of a Russian troll factory in action. The undercover video was recorded inside the secretive Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, where paid Internet provocateurs worked 12-hour shifts, distorting the U.S. political debate. CNN spoke to a Russian journalist who went undercover there as an
Internet troll in 2016.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The U.S. elections are the key issue for the Kremlin and of course, Russia has invested a lot of effort into them. That's why the troll factories are working. I have no doubt.
CHANCE (voice-over): And this is the publicity-shy Russian oligarch now indicted in the U.S. for bankrolling the troll factory. Yevgeny Prigozhin, dubbed by Russian media as "Putin's chef," has lucrative catering contracts with the Kremlin but denies any involvement in election meddling.
"Americans are very impressionable people," he told Russian state media. "They see what they want to see. I have great respect for them. I am not at all upset that I am on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see one," he added.
But the possible extent of Prigozhin's alleged involvement in the often shadowy world of Russian foreign policy is only now starting to emerge. He is already under U.S. sanctions for supporting Russian forces in Ukraine and, now through a complex web of relationships, he is suspected of links to covert Russian mercenaries deployed in Syria, where CNN has reported several were killed in a recent U.S. airstrike.
Prigozhin denies any connection to the group. Whatever the truth, Putin's chef and his network of secretive companies seem to extend far beyond the kitchen -- Matthew Chance, CNN, St. Petersburg.
ALLEN: Coming up here, it's one of the last major awards shows of the season before the Oscars. We'll tell you who won big at the BAFTA awards in London and the politics involved in this year's awards -- coming up.
ALLEN: It's day 10 already in the Olympic competition underway in South Korea and throughout these game, Netherlands has dominated speed skating, winning six of the eight gold medals so far and they hope for another with Jan Smeekens in the men's 500 meters in just a few hours.
But as it stands, Netherlands is in third place on the medal table with those six golds and 13 total medals. It's Norway still leading the pack with nine golds, 26 total medals, followed by Germany, which also has nine golds and 18 total medals.
In PyeongChang, Olympic spectators who want to try their hand at winter sports without really trying the sports, now they have a chance. Fans are flocking to virtual reality stations around the host city. Our Paula Hancocks learned it's a lot harder than it looks.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you're watching Olympic athletes at the top of their game, the sacrifice, the dedication, you're feeling a little bit inspired. That's where this comes in, the Olympic Park.
HANCOCKS: This is the cross-country. And it is hard. It's really exhausting. But these virtual reality experiences mean you can (INAUDIBLE) one of the Olympic athletes although I think I've got a fair way to go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Moving up and down, the sport's in the scene, also move up and down, left and right. You move --
HANCOCKS (voice-over): No Olympics is complete without the torch relay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Moving your body, the treadmill part will move you left and right when you actually (INAUDIBLE) the experience.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): K.T. says in this VR experience, motion sensor data and video image transmission views the 5G network, a network K.T. plans to commercialize by next year.
HANCOCKS: So this is the skeleton. I was quite tempted to give this one a miss but the rest of the team decided I should do it. Thank you, (INAUDIBLE), thank you, (INAUDIBLE).
What this is, is going headfirst down an icy track at speeds of up to 130 kph, headfirst with your arms behind you. OK. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) the track.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.
All right, you're good to go.
HANCOCKS: Whoa! So this is apparently based on a track in Vancouver, Canada, oh, it's fast, which is apparently one of the fastest sliding tracks in the world. Ah, this just goes against every instinct you have, headfirst and not putting your hands out to stop yourself. Oh. Oh. Oh.
(LAUGHTER) HANCOCKS: That was unbelievable. I mean, I just can't believe people do that. Whoo! It's quite fun, though.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): A 19-meter ski jump, designed on the Olympics ski jump here in PyeongChang.
HANCOCKS: I think we can all agree that is the closest I will ever get to competing in the Olympics. It's been fun -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Gangnam, South Korea.
ALLEN: It looked fun and scary and hard and, Paula, you get our trooper award.
Finally, this hour, politics took center stage at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards ceremony. Stars wore black on the red carpet to stand against sexual harassment and gender inequality. But that did not overshadow the awards.
Isa Soares has more for us from London.
ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over) (voice-over): The red carpet awash with black as directors, actors and producers put on a show of solidarity for the #TimesUp movement, calling for an end to sexual harassment and inequality.
The talk, too, was political, with men and women standing up for the cause that began in the United States.
SOARES: How do you feel, seeing what we're seeing here tonight?
ANNETTE BENING, ACTOR: Well, I think that we're very lucky to do what we do and that we do have a chance to help other people in other industries.
ALLISON JANNEY, ACTOR: I think there are so many people who work tirelessly for social injustice, who aren't in Hollywood but we're just pushing the movement along and doing what we can with our voices and our solidarity in wearing black.
It's an important time, one I never thought I'd see in my lifetime certainly.
KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, ACTOR: This is our job and when we make films, we make films and we perform to bring attention to subjects. And this is a perfect -- this is a perfect issue, subject (INAUDIBLE).
And I think that, yes, it is distracting. But let's just be distracted.
SOARES (voice-over): Some actors went further, ditching partners for rights and equality activists. Jaime Winstone (ph), star of "Made in Dagenham," was accomplished by two women who, in 1968, staged a three- week walkout from a Ford plant in the same town because of pay inequality.
On the red carpet, the Duchess of Cambridge walked a more diplomatic line, wearing olive green with a black sash, pleasing and offending observers in equal measure.
Inside the Royal Albert Hall, the powerful protest continued.
GRAHAM BROADBENT, PRODUCER: There's a tectonic shift taking place. It turns out that meaningful change can happen very quickly if we put our minds to it. That's good not just for the film industry but for everybody.
SOARES (voice-over): Even Frances McDormand, Best Actress for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," took a stand.
FRANCES MCDORMAND, ACTOR: As Martin said, I have a little trouble with compliance.
MCDORMAND: But I want you to know that I stand in full solidarity with my sisters tonight in black.
SOARES (voice-over): But the discourse didn't distract from the awards celebration. Outstanding British film and Best Film, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," took home five gongs.
Guillermo del Toro won Best Director for "The Shape of Water."
The BAFTA goes to Gary Oldman --
SOARES (voice-over): And Gary Oldman proved playing Churchill was his "Finest Hour."
A night of celebration, protests and empowerment -- Isa Soares, CNN, London.
ALLEN: And that is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. More from the Olympics. That's next on "WORLD SPORT." I'll see you at the top of the hour for more news.