Stranger Things star David K. Harbour delivered a fiery speech at the SAG Awards, issuing “a call of arms” to the creative community “to battle against fear, self-centeredness and exclusivity of our predominately narcissistic culture” in the wake of Donald Trump’s executive order Friday targeting Muslims.
“In light of all that’s going on in the world today, it’s difficult to celebrate,” the actor said on behalf of the cast after Stranger Things won the SAG award for Best Television Show. While the Screen Actors Guild was celebrating the best of 2016, protests were sprouting up at airports around the country to fight Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.
In his speech – which elicited viral-worthy reactions from co-star Winona Ryder – Harbour promised that he and the Stranger Things team would use their craft to help aid in the battle against real life “monsters” while creating a “more empathetic and understanding society.”
“We will repel bullies. We will shelter freaks and outcasts; those who have no home. We will get past the lies. We will hunt monsters,” Harbour continued. “And when we are lost amidst the hypocrisy and casual violence of certain individuals and institutions … we will punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the weak and the disenfranchised and the marginalized. And we will do it all with soul and with heart and with joy.”
Like Harbour, many of the winners at the SAG Awards used their acceptance speech to criticize the Muslim ban and the opening week of the Trump administration.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won Best Female Actor in a Comedy Series, opened her acceptance speech by joking about Russians rigging the election and Trump’s blatantly false inauguration crowd claims before navigating to more serious material.
“My father fled religious persecution in Nazi-occupied France,” Dreyfus said. “I’m an American patriot. And I love this country, and because I love this country, I am horrified by its blemishes. And this immigrant ban is a blemish, and it is un-American.”
Moonlight‘s Mahershala Ali, accepting Male Actor in a Supporting Role, spoke about the effects any type of persecution has on an individual. “They fold into themselves,” he said.
“When we kind of get caught up in the minutiae, the details that make us all different, I think there’s two ways of seeing that. There’s an opportunity to see the texture of that person, the characteristics that make them unique,” Ali continued.
“And then there’s an opportunity to go to war about it, and to say that that person is different than me, and I don’t like you, so let’s battle. My mother is an ordained minister. I’m a Muslim. She didn’t do back flips when I called her to tell her I converted 17 years ago. But I tell you now, we put things to the side, and I’m able to see her, she’s able to see me. We love each other, the love has grown, and that stuff is minutiae. It’s not that important.”
‘Stranger Things’ composers Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein are among the artists heading to Moogfest.