Stranger Things won its first major prize of awards season at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night, and no one was happier than the young cast members: Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin and Noah Schnapp — who pretty much lost their minds as soon as the show’s name was announced, making for the most adorable moment of the night.
Netflix’s zeitgeisty series scooped the prize for Outstanding Performance for an Ensemble in a Drama Series, beating the likes of Game of Thrones, Westworld, The Crown and Downton Abbey.
The kids’ reactions were epic enough, but then star David Harbour got on stage and delivered a barnstorming speech with such intensity that was worthy of an award all on its own, following the Meryl Streep playbook and criticizing President Trump’s recent executive actions without ever mentioning the POTUS by name.
Read Harbour’s full speech below.
“I would just like to say that in light of all that’s going on in the world today, it’s difficult to celebrate the already celebrated Stranger Things, but this award from you, who take your craft seriously and earnestly believe, like me, that great acting can change the world, is a call to arms from our fellow craftsmen and women to go deeper, and through our art to battle against fear, self-centeredness and exclusivity of our predominantly narcissistic culture, and through our craft to cultivate a more empathetic and understanding society by revealing intimate truths that serve as a forceful reminder to folks that when they feel broken and afraid and tired, they are not alone.
We are united in that we are all human beings and we are all together on this horrible, painful, joyous, exciting and mysterious ride that is being alive. Now, as we act in the continuing narrative of Stranger Things, we 1983 Midwesterners will repel bullies; we will shelter freaks and outcasts, those who have no home; we will get past the lies; we will hunt monsters; and when we are lost amidst the hypocrisy and casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will — as per Chief Jim Hopper — punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the meek, the disenfranchised and the marginalized, and we will do it all with soul, with heart and with joy. We thank you for this responsibility.”
Winona Ryder’s spectacularly varied expressions were almost as compelling as Harbour’s speech, but the tour de force performance definitely earned Harbour plenty of approval from his fellow cast members and the assembled crowd of actors.
At least someone is still capable of feeling joy.