Michael Keaton was teary-eyed as he accepted the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Award for best male actor in a television movie or limited series.
He won the award for “Dopesick,” which tells stories of people and families struggling with opioid addiction while focusing on PurduePharma, the company that developed and promoted OxyContin. The project was a personal one for Keaton, whose own nephew died of fentanyl overdose. In his acceptance speech, he took a moment to commemorate his nephew, along with sharing his gratitude for his career and his hopeful thoughts for Ukraine.
“There’s an argument to be made — it’s a legitimate argument, look how nice everyone looks — that a night like tonight is self-serving, narcissistic. It’s a legitimate argument to be made,” Keaton said. “That said, I will tell you, I am so fortunate. We could spend a week here talking about how fortunate I am, and I know you would all love that. Everyone wants to hear Mike ramble on for a couple of hours. I’m so blessed to do what I do, and so fortunate. I have a job where I can be part of a production, like ‘Dopesick,’ that actually can spawn thought, conversation, actual change. Who gets to have that job? How fortunate am I that good can come from something I do just because I wanted to become an actor?”
“There’s massive inequity in the world. In ‘Dopesick,’ when you talk about addiction, the way to heal the problem is to accept that you have a problem. Not our country — the entire world. Economically, racially, socially, financially. There’s massive inequity in the world. There just is. There’s fair, and there’s unfair. There’s not a lot of room in between.”
“I can feel right now the rolling thunder of eye-rolling across people saying things to me like, ‘Shut up and dribble. Shut up and act.’ The acting, I’ll quit. The shutting up, not so much. I am blessed to be able to do something that might improve someone’s life.”
“Given the subject matter, this is for my nephew, Michael, and my sister, Pam. I lost my nephew Michael to drugs, and it hurts. To my sister Pam, thanks.”