Charlie received the WGA Laurel Award on Sunday--it's a lifetime achievement award--and his acceptance speech was exactly the kind of eloquent, thoughtful speech we've come to expect from him. He used his time on stage as a kind of rallying cry to other artists, and as a denouncement of Hollywood suits.
“We are trained to believe that what we do is secondary to what they do,” said Kaufman, taking a dig at studio executives. [...]
“We are trained to do the bidding of people who are motivated not by curiosity but who are protecting their jobs,” he added, to what was the first round of major applause tonight during the awards show in the Fairmont Century Plaza ballroom.
“Our work is to not contribute to their fortunes or our own, it is not to please them or critics or audiences,” he said, “Our work is to reflect the world, saying what is true in the face of so much lying.”
“The rest is window dressing at best,” he continued.
“Adrienne Rich wrote ‘I do know that art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of the power which holds it hostage,’ ” Kaufman said to another round of cheers.
“The world is a mess, the world is beautiful, the world is impossibly complicated and we have the opportunity to explore that.”
“If we give that up for the carrot, then we might as well be the executives,” the Being John Malkovich scribe added. “We have become their minions. I have dropped the ball, wasted years seeking the approval of people with money.”
“Don’t get trapped in their world of box office numbers! We don’t work for them!” Kaufman exclaimed to a third round of applause.
“We don’t work for the world of box office numbers, we work for the world.”
“They tricked us into thinking we can’t do it without them,” he said. “But the truth is they cannot do anything of value without us.”
And the ballroom went wild. (Source)
Jessie Buckley presented the award.
The Laurel speeches of previous winners are on WGA's YouTube channel, and Good Lord, hopefully it won't be long before they upload this one. I need to see it.