The Screen Actors Guild has crowned the night’s big winner: Spotlight.
Demi Moore presented the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture on Saturday night, prompting Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James and Billy Crudup to head to the stage.
The film tells the true story of the Boston Globe‘s investigation into the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal.
On behalf of the cast, Keaton, 64, dedicated the award to the people of Flint, Mich., who have attracted national attention of the high levels of lead that have made their water undrinkable: “This is really for the disenfranchised everywhere, 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. That’s why I’m proud to be part of this and thank you very much, it comes down to two things: There’s fair and there’s unfair, and I’m always going to vote for the fair, I’m always going to vote for the good guys. Thanks for this, this means a lot.”
Backstage, Keaton said that the crisis may have been averted if Flint had had a Spotlight-quality team of investigative journalists to stand up for the community: “Had there been one, I would argue, and I think it s a strong argument, that they may have been ahead of the Flint, Michigan, situation.”
“… There’s something always happening in poor neighborhoods, which are generally black or Hispanic or people of color. As long as there s no one to represent, not just those who have been disenfranchised, everybody, or people who are fighting against unfair things… So I mention it because there are a zillion Flint, Michigans, out there. A zillion, there are a lot of them. Had there been some of the ‘spotlight’ put on that, I would argue that maybe they would be a little bit ahead of the situation.”
Ruffalo, in his speech, honored the producers of the film for telling the story of the Catholic sex abuse survivors.
“I have to thank our producers, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, who just took every single opportunity to tell the truth,” said Ruffalo, 48. “They didn’t take any cheap way, it was always the truth and honored these people. These victims who are dead, and the survivors who are still alive, of one of the most horrific things that our culture has allowed to happen.”
“This movie allows them to be seen in a world that has been blind to them,” he added. “And so it is such an honor to be standing in front of you on behalf of them. And this amazing cast.”
The 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards aired live on TNT and TBS.