"I think a lot of us feel like we're under attack, and that we need to apologize, and perhaps we do, and perhaps we are," Macy told reporters backstage on Sunday

By Aurelie Corinthios
January 21, 2018 09:26 PM

William H. Macy shared his perspective as a male actor in the era of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements after his win at the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The Shameless actor, who won the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a comedy series, told reporters backstage on Sunday that “it’s hard to be a man these days.”

“I think a lot of us feel like we’re under attack, and that we need to apologize, and perhaps we do, and perhaps we are,” he said, reflecting on the current environment. “But we’ll keep talking. To repeat, I’m blessed that I’m in this business.”

“We had a meeting, a bunch of guys got together, under the auspices of Time’s Up — and that’s good for men,” he continued, referencing the organized campaign which aims to fight sexual harassment, assault and inequality for women in all kinds of workplaces. “Men don’t talk enough. Men don’t talk to other men, and we talked. What the hell — a little bit can’t hurt you.”

To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which will provide subsidized legal support to women and men in all industries who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace, visit its GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up, an organization of women in entertainment combating sexual harassment and inequality, on its website.

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Asked what advice he would give a young, up-and-coming actor about how to conduct himself, Macy, 67, said the question was “really, really, really complicated.”

“Because on one hand, in what we do for a living, we’ve got to be free to speak the unspeakable and try things, so I hope it doesn’t throw a wet blanket on things, and I don’t believe it will because half of the business is women and they’re smart and they’re hip,” he said.

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full SAG Awards coverage to get the latest news on Hollywood’s big night.

“I have two daughters, and I feel girls are ascendant, and I’m thrilled for them,” he said. “It’s a good time to be a girl. And I’m proud of this business, because such things as safety in the workplace — I think that’s done. We’re not going back. It’s changed. It changed in an instant, and it’s not going back.”

“When it comes to equality and pay, it’s inevitable and it’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen quickly,” he continued. “My hat’s off to our business. I work for John Wells, and he’s been proactive in making our cast and crew and the writer’s room look like America. He’s been proactive about that for a long time. I’ve worked for a lot of women. I always have. Perhaps it’s the projects I choose. It’s all good.”

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Macy beat out Anthony Anderson for black-ish, Aziz Ansari for Master of None, Curb Your Enthusiasm’Larry DavidSean Hayes for Will & Grace and GLOW’Marc Maron.

During his acceptance speech, Macy thanked his fellow nominees and celebrated an actor’s responsibility to tell the truth.

“A couple of years ago, I was privy to a conversation with David Mamet, who is really my mentor and taught me everything I knew,” he said. “He was talking to a journalist and the journalist said, ‘Actors have a weird job: [They] just tell lies for a living.’ And he said, ‘No, an actor’s job is to tell the truth,’ ” Macy recalled. “Even though our lines and the stories we’re told are given to us by writers, it’s our job, under those imaginary circumstances, to find the truth. And I think it’s a glorious way to make a living, especially in this day and age when so many people either can’t recognize the truth, or don’t think it’s important.”

The 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards was broadcast live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on both TNT and TBS.