Michael Keaton Sheds Tears on Stage While Dedicating Award to Nephew Who Passed Away

It took time for Michael Keaton to make it to the stage to accept his Screen Actor’s Guild Award, and although he appeared late, his speech proved well worth the wait.

The actor won the “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series” award for his work in the series Dopesick. The Hulu original recounts the escalation of the opioid crisis in the United States. In his speech, Keaton praised the ability of television and film to tell stories that can “improve someone’s life.”

Michael Keaton Went to Tell the Story of His Nephew Who Died from Addicition.

michael keaton sheds tears on stage while dedicating award to nephew who passed away
Michael Keaton in Dopesick / Instagram

“I’m the most fortunate person,” Keaton said after finally making it to the stage following an untimely visit to the men’s room.

The speech quickly turned emotional with the star visibly crying as he dedicated the award to his sister, Pam, and his nephew, also named Michael, who died in 2016 after a battle with addiction.

Watch Michael Keaton’s Impassioned Acceptance Speech Below:

Michael Keaton’s Acceptance Speech at the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards / YouTube

Speaking as tears flowed, Keaton told the audience that the gesture was a meaningful one, given the subject matter of Dopesick. “I lost my nephew Michael to drugs, and it hurts,” he shared during the speech.

His compelling acceptance speech was not the first time the actor had spoken about his nephew. He told the New York Times in an interview that his nephew, who was in his thirties when he passed, had been a motivating factor for him to join the series which is based on a book by Beth Macy with the same name.

michael keaton sheds tears on stage while dedicating award to nephew who passed away
Michael Keaton in Dopesick / Instagram

“I lost a nephew to heroin. Fentanyl, really,” Keaton revealed in the interview from last year. “It was my sister’s son. I don’t think I believe that I have a responsibility exactly, but you wouldn’t want to leave the world going, ‘I could have been a mensch. I could have turned somebody around.'”

Keaton goes on to share the conversation he had with his sister about the project telling her the “No. 1 reason I’m doing this is for Michael.”

michael keaton sheds tears on stage while dedicating award to nephew who passed away
Michael Keaton in Dopesick / Instagram

He explained that as he was reading the script for Dopesick, he thought, “Jeez, this is Michael’s story.”

“I take pride in holding those people accountable for the victims of this opioid crisis,” he also told the outlet.

michael keaton sheds tears on stage while dedicating award to nephew who passed away
Michael Keaton / Shutterstock

Keaton plays a rural doctor, in Dopesick, who falls prey to a pharmaceutical company’s misleading advertising and business practices before struggling with addiction himself.

Dopesick is currently available to stream on Hulu. As Keaton’s speech detailed, it’s likely one of his most personal and meaningful roles to date. We hope the project was cathartic for the actor and that you will give it a watch. It’s a painful one but it’s a story that deserves telling as opioid addiction has touched so many Americans today.

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