January 29, 2017

It was quite evident that the cast of Netflix's "Stranger Things" did not expect to win an award tonight at the SAG Awards. Their surprise and ebullience was written all over their faces. But then actor David Harbour (Sheriff Jim Hopper) took the mic to accept the award and though he referenced the plot to this homage of Stephen KIng thrillers, he was also speaking to today.

Lead Actress nominee Winona Ryder was evidently not prepared for the political nature of Harbour's speech, judging by her expressions. But the crowd and the younger cast of "Stranger Things" got increasingly more excited as the speech went on.

It may not have the virtue of Meryl Streep's directness at this year's Golden Globes, but it left no one in the audience in doubt as to who are the monsters we should fight.

I would 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 fellow craftsmen and women to go deeper and through our art, battle against fear, self-centeredness and exclusivity of our predominantly narcissistic culture. And through our craft, 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 Mid-westerners 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 at a loss against the hypocrisy and casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will ask for Sheriff Jim Hopper to punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the meek and the disenfranchised and the marginalized. We will do it all, with soul, with heart, and with joy. We thank you for this responsibility.

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