Stranger Things’ David Harbour Delivers Defiant, Rousing Acceptance Speech

Sunday evening saw the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, hosted by Ashton Kutcher.

Netflix original series Stranger Things picked up its first major accelade of the awards season, winning Outstanding Performance in an Ensemble in a Drama Series, beating renowned and greatly awarded shows such as Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey.

The stars of the show are incontrovertibly the young kids who take the leading roles in the show (Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Finn Wolfhard (Mike) and Noah Schnapp (Will)). However, it was Stranger Things star David Harbour who plays chief of police Jim Hopper who stole the show with his barnstorming acceptance speech in response to this week’s Donald Trump controversial travel ban policies which led to its own standing ovation. Harbour read the speech from a scrap of paper, with the highlight being his final line where he said:

“…punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the meek, the disenfranchised and the marginalized, and we will do it all with soul, with heart and with joy. We thank you for this responsibility.”

Harbour’s speech in full:

“I would just 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 our fellow craftsmen and women to go deeper, and through our art to battle against fear, self-centeredness and exclusivity of our predominantly narcissistic culture, and 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.

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 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 lost amidst the hypocrisy and casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will — as per Chief Jim Hopper — punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the meek, the disenfranchised and the marginalized, and we will do it all with soul, with heart and with joy. We thank you for this responsibility.”

As the video shows, the camera regularly pans to the roaring, ‘speechless’ audience of fellow actors, and show the cast members approval and encouragement for Harbour’s sentiment. However, specifically Winona Ryder’s varied expressions were almost as compelling…

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