At the SAG Awards on January 29, there were plenty of politically charged acceptance speeches and statements made. However, it was the cast of Stranger Things that perhaps delivered the most impassioned speech with what some consider to be a battle cry for America today. While the Netflix series won for the best ensemble in a drama series, it was David Harbour, who plays Chief Jim Hopper in the series, who was chosen to speak for the cast.
According to Vanity Fair, as the cast of Stranger Things stood behind him, the actor offered a speech that was filled with passionate political rhetoric, that some believe to be even more political than any other speech offered up at the ceremony. David Harbour began by saying that the award, which was given to the cast by like minded people, all of whom take their craft both seriously and earnestly, is a call to arms of sorts from all of the great women and men who make up SAG.
The actor said that with great acting, the world can be changed and this call to arms is essentially telling people that it is critical to “go deeper.” The Stranger Things star said that it is through all of their art that people will battle self-centeredness, fear and even “exclusivity of our predominantly narcissistic culture.” David Harbour said that it is through the craft that people will be able to develop a society that is more understanding and empathetic as a whole.
While there was seemingly plenty of enthusiasm from members of the Stranger Things cast for David Harbour’s words, Winona Ryder’s facial expressions during his speech offered up an entire range of emotions. Whether or not he was aware of what was going on behind him, the actor concluded his speech by asking and answering a question that so many people seem to be asking as of late.
In wrapping up his acceptance speech on behalf of the Stranger Things cast for their ensemble win, Harbour asked whether or not it was acceptable for a person to punch a Nazi. His answer was that as per his character, Chief Hopper, “we will… punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the weak, the disenfranchised, and the marginalized.” It was this final statement that led to not only a standing ovation from the crowd, but also seemingly the enthusiastic approval of his costar, Winona Ryder.
What do you think of David Harbour’s speech? Do you agree with what he said? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
By Dorothea James
Photo Courtesy SAG/TNT