The Screen Actors Guild Awards were held Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019.
Black Panther took the night’s biggest prize, Outstanding Performance By a Cast in a Motion Picture. The cast of the comic book blockbuster gathered on stage at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles to accept the final award of the evening, with actor Chadwick Boseman giving a stirring speech about being given the chance to “create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see” after he and his co-stars had previously been denied opportunities despite being “young, gifted and Black.”
After thanking the executives involved in the movie and “genius” director Ryan Coogler, he said: “This cast, this ensemble, when I think of going to work every day and the passion and intelligence, the resolve, the discipline that everybody showed. I also think of two questions we have received during multiple publicity rounds.
“One is, did we know that this movie that was going to receive this kind of response — meaning, was it gonna make billions of dollars, was it gonna make a billion dollars, was it still gonna be around this awards season? And the second question is, has it changed the industry? Has it actually changed the way the industry works; how it sees us. And my answer to that is, ‘to be young, gifted, and Black.’
“We all know what it’s like to be told, ‘There is not a place for you to be featured,’ yet you are young, gifted and black. We know what it’s like to be told, ‘there’s not a screen for you to be featured on; a stage for you to be featured on.’ We know what’s it like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above.
“And that is what we went to work with every day. Because we knew — not that we would be around during awards season or that it would make a billion dollars — but we knew that we had something special that we wanted to give the world; that we could be full human beings in the roles that we were playing.
“That we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see.
“We knew that we had something that we wanted to give. And to come to work every day and to solve problems with this group of people, this director, that is something that I wish all actors would get the opportunity to experience. If you get to experience that, you will be a fulfilled artist.”
And the 41-year-old star closed his speech with a joke about a sequel.
As the music began to play to signify he needed to end his remarks, he said: “Now, the question of, will we be around — don’t give me the music — I just have to say, it’s a pleasure to be celebrated by you, to be loved by you,
“One thing that I do know is that you can’t have a Black Panther now without a ‘two’ on it.”