Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo use SAG Awards speech to fight horrific injustices

Jan 31, 2016 at 12:35 a.m. ET
Image: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The cast of Spotlight took top honors at the 2016 SAG Awards, collecting the "Best Cast in a Motion Picture" award and used the opportunity to applaud "Truth" and the "Good Guys"... but what does that mean?

For those who haven't yet seen the Oscar-nominated film, Spotlight tells the true story about The Boston Globe reporters who uncovered the truth behind the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse cover-up. In the film, Michael Keaton plays the editor who assigns the story and Mark Ruffalo plays the lead reporter.

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The film is gripping, and has been nominated for several awards this season — and with a cast that also includes Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, and Stanley Tucci, it's no wonder they took home the "Best Cast" award.

But when the cast took the stage to collect their award, both Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton dedicated the award to the disenfranchised, begging the question: Do films about real-life tragedies teach us anything?

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Ruffalo kicked off the gratitude shout-outs by thanking co-writers Tom McCarthy (who also directed) and Josh Singer for taking "every single opportunity to tell the truth." He continued by explaining that the team "didn’t take any cheap way. It was always the truth. It 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."

Ruffalo then went on to explain that "this movie allows them to be seen in the world, in a world that has been blind to them, and so it is such an honor to be standing in front of you on behalf of them and this amazing cast."

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But when Keaton stepped up to the mic, he reminded us that these types of tragedies are still happening!

"This is not only for the survivors of this horrific situation but — for me personally, and I'm only speaking for me — this is for the disenfranchised everywhere," stated Keaton. "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. That's why I’m proud to be part of this… 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."

It was both a motivating and sobering way to end the SAG Awards, but has us wondering if anyone is actually learning from the lessons films like Spotlight aim to teach.

You can watch the moving speeches in the video below.

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sag awards 2016 winners slideshow
Image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner

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