Janelle Monáe Reflects On “Deeply Personal” Roles That “Shed Light On A Human Experience” In Critics Choice Awards Speech

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery star Janelle Monáe was the recipient of the SeeHer Award at the Critics Choice Awards on Sunday for their inclusive work and representation in Hollywood.

RELATED: Critics Choice Awards Photos: Live From The Red Carpet and Gala Ceremony

More from Deadline

The SeeHer Award recognizes people who advocate for gender equality, defy stereotypes, portray characters with authenticity and push boundaries in the industry. During their speech, Monáe reflected on their own journey with identity, saying: “There were so many times in my life where I couldn’t see my light. I couldn’t see past my circumstances.”

Related Story

‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ Takes Best Picture At Critics Choice Awards – Complete Winners List

Related Story

C'mon Voters: The Oscars Could Use A Little Sequel-itis

Related Story

Chelsea Handler Takes Shots At Prince Harry, James Corden, Congress & More In Opening Monologue At Critics Choice Awards

“If you know my story, I wasn’t supposed to make it outta Kansas City, Kansas and be here tonight. I wasn’t. I didn’t see the vision clearly for myself,” they continued. “I couldn’t see my gift. I couldn’t see what my purpose was supposed to be at that time. But thank you, God, so many other people did. They didn’t give up on me and they gave me opportunity despite my own lack of confidence. So anyone out there like me watching right now, I just want you to know that I’ve seen you, but I challenge you to see you.”

RELATED: Seth Rogen Blasts The CW At The Critics Choice Awards: ‘We’re On Your Least Favorite Network’

Monáe also spoke about some her trailblazing roles, including NASA aerospace engineer Mary Jackson in Hidden Figures and feminist icon and activist Dorothy Pitman Hughes in The Glorias, who they described as “just a few of the characters I’ve had the honor of playing.”

“I’ve tried to make an effort in my work — whether it’s storytelling through music and film, through TV and fashion, through literature — highlight the ones who have been pushed to the margins of society, who’ve been outcasted or relegated,” they said, describing it as a “deeply personal choice” due to their own life experiences, from growing up with working class parents to coming out as non-binary.

RELATED: Jeff Bridges Pays Tribute To His Family, Peter Bogdanovich & Beautiful “Lifetime” Of “Telling Stories”

“We are able to shed light on a human experience, an experience that most people around this world won’t get an opportunity to see,” she said. “I keep this glimpse of hope in my heart that when someone meets a character like the ones I’ve had an opportunity to play, you be more empathetic to their experience.”

RELATED: 2022-23 Awards Season Calendar – Dates For The Oscars, Grammys, Guilds & More

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.