Julie Andrews has penned an open letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, pleading with him not to follow through with proposed budget cuts to arts programs in America.
The 81-year-old actress and her daughter Emma Hamilton voiced their fears over Trump's suggestion that funding may be cut to organizations such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities in order to increase spending on the military and homeland security in an op-ed column for CNN.
“This is mind-boggling to us, considering how much the arts benefit our lives and our world,” Julie and Emma wrote. "They foster collaboration and creativity, essential skills for navigating in the workplace and surviving in a challenging world.
"They cultivate empathy and tolerance, by bridging cultural and socioeconomic divides. They’re also good for business: They spur urban renewal, promote tourism and generate hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity annually."
Andrews has been in the entertainment business since the tender age of 12, and made a name for herself with roles in classic movies such as "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound of Music."
And the actress opened up about the effect she has been told her film roles have had on other people as she continued the op-ed.
“Julie has heard from countless people over the decades who believe their lives were enriched by the inspiration, comfort and sense of connection they received from the music, stories, films and productions in which she was fortunate enough to participate,” they added.
“The arts are fundamental to our common humanity. Every time we attend the theater, a museum or a concert, we are literally feeding our souls, and investing in and preserving our collective future.”
The mother-daughter pair concluded their letter by urging everyone to "do everything possible to preserve and advance this most precious and essential resource, and demand that our elected representatives do the same."
Following Trump's announcement of his plans, the hashtags #JusticeforBigBird and #RightToBearArts quickly started trending on social media, with "Beauty and the Beast" star Josh Gad also commenting on the controversial move.
"It seems insane to have to defend the arts but here we are," he wrote on Twitter. "The #RighttoBearArts is what makes us great. Without science & arts, who are we?"