Taraji P. Henson is fighting against the system.
The actress accepted the MTV Movie and TV Award for “Fight Against the System” on Sunday on behalf of her Hidden Figures cast and filmmakers. The golden popcorn was presented by Blackish star Tracee Ellis Ross and U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
“Thank you for your work, thank you for your voice and how you use it, and thank you for being an extraordinary example for all of us, especially in these times,” Ross said, going “offscript” to praise Waters’ work.
“Artists, actors, singers and citizens have a unique ability to speak out and inspire change,” Waters said before introducting the nominees — each of which, she added, “pushes back against the bullies, and uses their platform to inspire us all.”
In addition to Hidden Figures, Get Out, Loving, Luke Cage and Mr. Robot were also recognized in the category.
“This movie was bigger than all of us. We understood that, we understood the task at hand. We understood that this is a part of history that needed to be re-implemented into the blood and veins of American history,” said Henson, who also won Best Hero at Sunday’s award show, as she took the stage.
“For me, it was very important because I grew up with an understanding — no one ever told me that girls couldn’t do math and science, but there was an understanding. There was an understanding that it was for boys,” she continued. “I remember getting this script and being very upset, because it felt like a dream was stolen from me. And it became my mission, and everyone’s mission who was involved with this film, to dispel that myth, so that another young girl would not grow up thinking that her mind wasn’t capable of grasping math and science. If it were not for these women, we wouldn’t be in space.”
Before exiting, the actress issued a pointed call to action: “God is very clever. He made us all different for a reason, so we better figure it out.”
There’s no doubt about it: Henson knows how to deliver a powerhouse acceptance speech. At the SAG Awards earlier this year, she even brought her co-stars, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer, to tears with her remarks. Re-live the beautiful moment below.