Michael Keaton Takes Home His First Emmy for 'Dopestick,' Calls Out Doubters

The actor even acknowledged his doubters during his acceptance speech.

Cover Image Credits: GettyImages | Picture by Kevin Winter

Michael Keaton won the award for best actor in a limited series, movie, or anthology for his performance in Dopesick at the 2022 Emmys. He stepped on the stage to thank everyone and delivered a beautiful speech by thanking his friends and family for never diminishing his dreams to become an actor.

He even acknowledged his doubters during his acceptance speech. “I watched all of the cowboy shows, especially the comedies, and all the gangster shows, and I fell in love with it,” Keaton said about his childhood watching television. “And I would go and I would re-enact the scenes or create my own scenes, and my parents and my brothers and sisters would watch me out the window. And to this day, they were never demeaning. They were never dismissive. They never looked down upon it. They never made fun of me. And in fact, they would ask me to re-enact scenes for them.”


The award marks Keaton's first Emmy win, and his third nomination. As a producer on Dopesick, he's also part of the Hulu show's Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series nomination. His previous nomination was in 2004, for hosting the PBS special Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor.

He continued: “I want to thank them. I just want to thank all those people in my family for never making me feel foolish because I went on to do that several times myself. And that’s the thing about feeling foolish and making a fool of yourself and making mistakes. There’s huge power and merit in that. And I’m glad I made a fool of myself over and over and over again. And one more thing I want to say: Over the years, we’ve all been through tough times. There have been some doubters. I’ve had some doubters. You know what? We’re cool.” To his true believers, Keaton said, “I fucking love you,” which was bleeped out on the telecast.


In the series Keaton portrayed Dr. Samuel Finnix in the eight-episode drama about the rise and fall of the opioid crisis, also taking a closer look at Purdue Pharma, the company that promoted OxyContin. The project, Keaton’s first television show, was a personal one for the actor, whose nephew died from a drug overdose.

The actor previously spoke to Variety about taking on the role and telling the heart-wrenching story of Dopesick. “This is so sad, but remember years ago when people started finally saying, ‘Well, we’re all affected by cancer because it touches everybody somehow somewhere.’ At first that sounds like an exaggerated statement. Then you realize, wait a minute, that is true. Well, it’s like that now with the opioid crisis,” he said. “And fentanyl is a whole other thing. I mean, that’s the horrible stepchild or something.”


Keaton also noted that he had to put his emotions behind him when taking on the challenging part. “The overall thing — and this is cynical and sad commentary ­— I’m almost not shocked by anything. You can spend your entire life being angry, but it’s going to wear you down to the point where you’re ineffective as a citizen,” he said. “That’s not to say, I don’t still get really pissed off sometimes. But that doesn’t really get you anywhere.”