One of the stars of Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things, David Harbour, stole the show at last night’s Screen Actor’s Guild awards when he delivered an acceptance speech on behalf of his and his fellow cast members’ Best Ensemble distinction. In a prepared monologue that Harbour delivered at a raucous pace, he started by noting the following.
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… is a call to arms for our fellow craftsmen and women to go deeper and, through our art… 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.”
Harbour’s acceptance speech was highlighted by a sentence he attributed to the character he plays in Stranger Things, police chief Jim Hopper. Hopper is a small town police officer battling demons from his own past as he uncovers a conspiracy in his previously boring Midwest town. David appeared to be taking a shot at President Donald Trump and his isolationist policies when he finished his speech in the following manner.
“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 a loss amidst the hypocrisy and casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will, as per Chief Jim Hopper, punch some people in the face as they seek to destroy the weak and the disenfranchised and the marginalized.”
Stranger Things’ David Harbour’s acceptance speech was not a singularity, as the night was replete with references not only alluding to the direction the Trump administration appears to be taking the country, but more specifically to the recent travel restrictions placed on seven predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East.
In addition to Stranger Things star David Harbour’s speech, actor Ashton Kutcher, according to the Huffington Post, opened the awards with a seething recrimination of Trump’s immigration ban, in which he called out to those who may be trapped in airports that they were welcome in his idea of America. That actor later took to Twitter to explain that his wife, Mila Kunis, originally came to this country on a refugee visa.
In fact, nearly every acceptance speech was an opportunity for the actors to take a shot at Trump, and before and after David Harbour threatened to punch people in the face, actors like Julia Lewis-Dreyfuss, Sarah Paulson, William H. Macy, and Bryan Cranston took their own individual chances to highlight opposition. According to Variety, the night was filled with “passion and politics,” and they’ve given a complete list of nominees and winners.
David Harbour, though fairly obscure before his tenure on the Netflix horror/sci-fi series Stranger Things, was ready to embrace his new fame and notoriety by delivering the words on behalf of the cast. The actor has previously had roles in such films as the James Bond installment Quantum of Solace and last summer’s Suicide Squad, but after a smash success in the first season of Stranger Things, and with Season 2 slated for a 2017 release, Harbour seems poised to transcend in his craft.
Joined on stage last night by fellow Stranger Things cast members Winona Ryder, Matthew Modine, and nearly a dozen others, the ensemble enthusiastically shared Harbour’s sentiments, especially the younger cast members, who appeared willing to back up Chief Hopper’s threat to stop bullying and, if all else failed, punch someone in the face.
[Featured Image by Chris Pizzello/AP Images]