“We will get past the lies. We will hunt monsters,” declared the actor, who plays Chief Jim Hopper in the series.
Just two days after President Donald Trump signed an exclusionary executive order restricting entry to the U.S. by refugees and people from Muslim-majority nations, Harbour’s speech garnered a warm response from the stage and crowd. (And some very amusing facial expressions from Winona Ryder.) He and other cast members of the Netflix original had won for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
Stressing the ability of actors to “cultivate a more empathetic and understanding society” by telling diverse stories on screen, Harbour put up a call to arms.
“[We] will repel bullies. We will shelter freaks and outcasts, those who have no home,” Harbour said.
Although he did not mention Trump by name, merely referencing the “hypocrisy and casual violence of certain individuals and institutions,” the actor seemed to evoke the many groups (from black activists to Syrian refugees) that the president has spoken and acted against.
“[W]e 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,” Harbour said, prompting uproarious cheers.
Read his full comments below.
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 for our fellow craftsmen and women to go deeper and, through our art, to battle against fear, self-centeredness and exclusivity of our predominately 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 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. And we will do it all with soul, with heart and with joy.
We thank you for this responsibility. Thank you.