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Michael Keaton dedicates SAG Award for 'Dopesick' to nephew, who died from addiction

The Oscar-winning actor played a doctor who winds up hooked on OxyContin.
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/ Source: TODAY

Michael Keaton won the SAG Award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a TV movie or limited series Sunday for his portrayal of a doctor who gets caught up in the opioid crisis in Hulu’s “Dopesick.” It’s a victory that took on personal meaning for him.

“Given the subject matter, this is for my nephew Michael and my sister Pam. I lost Michael, I lost my nephew Michael to drugs, and it hurts,” Keaton said at the conclusion of his acceptance speech, while choking back tears.

The Oscar winner had previously talked about being compelled to star in the Hulu project because of his nephew, who died in his 30s.

“I thought, ‘Well, if this is even remotely good, I have to do this,’ ” he told the Hollywood Reporter in August 2021. “It happens to be real good.”

Keaton’s acceptance speech started on a humorous note, as he was slow getting to the stage, noting he had to go to the restroom. But it quickly turned serious, as he expressed gratitude for “how fortunate” he is to be able to be part of shows or movies, like “Dopesick,” that “can spawn thought, conversation, actual change.”

28th Screen Actors Guild Awards - Winners Walk
Michael Keaton poses with the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a television movie or limited series for "Dopesick" during the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards on Feb. 27, 2022.Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for WarnerMedia

While decrying the “massive inequity in the world,” Keaton promised he would continue to do what he can to pursue change.

“I can feel, right now, the rolling thunder of eye-rolling coming across, people saying to me things like ‘Shut up and dribble,’ ‘shut up and act’,” he said, referring to Fox News’ Laura Ingraham’s comments about LeBron James.

The 5th Vital Sign
Keaton plays a doctor who gets addicted to OxyContin in "Dopesick."Gene Page / HULU

“The acting, I’ll quit. The shutting up, not so much,” Keaton said to a roaring applause.

He also acknowledged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is protecting his country after Russia invaded it.

“We have a fellow actor in Zelenskyy, who deserves some credit tonight for fighting the fight,” Keaton said.