Michael Keaton joined his fellow Spotlight cast members onstage at Saturday night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, where the troupe earned the evening’s highest Best Ensemble honor — but in his acceptance speech remarks, the actor seemingly abandoned the conservative-minded message about the value of hard work he delivered at last year’s Golden Globes to adopt a more progressive-minded message about fairness.
Keaton began his remarks at the SAG Awards by dedicating the win to the “survivors of this horrific situation,” referring to the Catholic Church’s cover-up of the sex abuse scandal that serves as the basis for Spotlight, which is also up for Best Picture at next month’s Academy Awards.
“But, for me personally, and I’m only speaking for me, this is really for the disenfranchised everywhere,” Keaton added. “This is for every Flint, Michigan in the world. This is for the powerless, this is for the powerful who take advantage of the powerless. And you can hang me for that, I don’t really care.”
“It comes down to two things: there’s fair and there’s unfair,” the actor concluded. “And I’m always going to vote for the fair. I’m always going to pull for the good guys.”
Keaton’s speech on Saturday night was markedly different than the emotional remarks he delivered at last year’s Golden Globes, when he praised the value of hard work while accepting his first-ever Best Actor award for his role in Birdman.
“In the household in which I was raised, the themes were pretty simple,” Keaton said, in a speech that drew high praise as one of the evening’s most memorable moments. “Work hard. Don’t quit. Be appreciative, be thankful, be grateful, be respectful. Also, never whine, never complain. And always, for crying out loud, keep a sense of humor.”
“My name is Michael John Douglas, I’m from Forest Grove, Pennsylvania,” Keaton continued. “I’m the seventh child of George and Leona Douglas, and I don’t ever remember a time when my father didn’t work two jobs. When my mother wasn’t saying the Rosary, or going to Mass, or trying to take care of seven kids in a run-down farmhouse, she was volunteering at the hospital where I was born.”
Keaton, choking back tears, went on to dedicate the award to his “best friend,” his son Sean.
“I love you with all my heart buddy. I’m so grateful, from the bottom of my heart, you have no idea what this means to me,” he concluded.
Keaton’s two speeches came almost exactly one year apart; while the first focused on the values of a strong work ethic and a never-quit attitude, the second focused on the faulty idea, often espoused by progressives, that the world contains elements both “fair” and “unfair,” when it is, in fact, never fair.
What changed in just one year?
Check out videos of both speeches above.