ByEmily Browne, writer at
Twitter: @emrbrowne
Emily Browne

So, what does one do when an orange-faced, narcissistic celebrity is sworn in as leader of the free world, while threatening to remove fundamental human rights at the same time as tweeting about how much he doesn't like Meryl Streep? Well, you might have been one of the millions of people who joined or supported the Women's Marches that took place around the world this weekend. Beloved actor Sir Ian McKellen also had some choice words for Trump, when he appeared at the 100,000-strong protest in central London on Saturday — sporting a sign that is just as iconic as he is.

's sign features his BFF Patrick Stewart's perfectly apt Captain Picard facepalm — because a picture is worth a thousand words.

Quite [Credit: via Pinterest]
Quite [Credit: via Pinterest]

It seems as though fate played a hand in McKellen acquiring his sign, which he says came across while marching with protesters in London's Trafalgar Square. He shares the story of the sign and other thoughts on the March in a tongue-in-cheek post shared on Twitter — which repeatedly refers to Mr. Trump as "President Breaking Wind."

“The Women’s March in London was the longest I have been on. Unlike most demonstrations it was not commandeered by any one group with its identical posters.

The women and their allies had devised their own visual protests, hand-written and improvised at home, expressing their personal reaction to the new President, whose name in schoolyard English means “to break wind” appropriately.

The placard of Sir Patrick, by the way, was not my own — I found it at then end of the March in Trafalgar Square. But there were hundreds of others, including the other three here.

President Breaking Wind has impacted us all; and personally. Some like him, think they can identify with him, believe him because they’ve seen him on television perhaps and think the billionaire and his billionaire team are truly their friends. The rest of us, including the majority of voters in the USA, see through the charade: after all, the schtick is not exactly subtle. But he’s riled us, got under our skin, asking us angry and despairing that he should have got through to the final of his show and turned democracy into a tv/twitter spectacular.

What will happen? No doubt his believers will soon be disillusioned. The rest of us cannot let him reign unchallenged. The Marches today were a good beginning. Some who fear him say “give the man a chance” OK — he’s started by removing LGBTQ people, climate change and state funding of the arts from POTUS’s website. He’s had his chance.”

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Patrick Stewart has yet to comment on McKellen's use of the sign, but I am sure he would have been proud to be represented in such a way by his best pal on a day of such solidarity.

In London, McKellen was joined by current Doctor Who Peter Capaldi and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who was in town overseeing the up-coming West End production of Hamilton. They were joined by celebs marching all over world; from Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart at Sundance, Miley Cyrus and Jane Fonda in LA, and Amy Schumer, Uzo Aduba and Scarlett Johansson in Washington.

McKellen describes himself and an actor and an activist — he continues to campaign for LGBT rights, and regularly lends his time to worthy causes such as Age UK and the DC-based non-profit Only Make Believe, which creates and performs interactive plays in children's hospitals and care facilities. He will be joining fellow activist Emma Watson in the highly-anticipated live action remake of Beauty and the Beast, which hits theaters this March.


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