The Black Panther ensemble took home the Screen Actors Guild Awards' top film honor, winning Best Cast in a Motion Picture. Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan immediately embraced as Angela Bassett shouted out in excitement: "What?! Say what?!" (Black Panther also won the SAG award for its stunt ensemble.)
"Well, I'll be," Boseman said. "I didn't think I was going to have to speak."
The award officially honors 12 members of the ensemble (Bassett, Boseman, Sterling K. Brown, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman, Danai Gurira, Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Forest Whitaker and Letitia Wright), though Boseman made sure to also shout out their "genius" director, Ryan Coogler.
"Yeah, Coogs!" Jordan chimed in.
"When I think of going to work every day and the passion and the intelligence, the resolve, the discipline, that everyone showed, I also think of two questions that we all have received during the course of multiple publicity runs," Boseman said. The questions were whether they thought the film would receive the kind of reception it did and whether Black Panther had changed the way the industry works.
"My answer to that is to be young, gifted and black. Because all of us up here know -- and Andy, we include you too," Boseman said to Serkis as the room broke into laughter. "Man, you got great timing, boy. To be young, gifted and black, we all know what it's like to be told that 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 that there's not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on. We know what it's like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it's like to be beneath and not above."
"That is what we went to work with every day, because we know, 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," he continued. "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. 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," Boseman wrapped up by promising a sequel: "One thing that I do know -- did it change the industry? -- is that you can't have a Black Panther now without a 'two' on it."