The actor left presenter Salma Hayek with 'stage fright' when he almost missed his category.
The actor won the award for Outstanding Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series for his role in Dopesick, the Hulu miniseries about the American opioid epidemic. Presenter Salma Hayek joked that she had "stage fright" as Keaton raced to the stage to accept his award.
"Sorry, quick trip to the men's room," he joked. "It's packed!"
After the laughs, however, Keaton's speech took on a serious tone when he addressed the subject matter behind Dopesick -- a personal story for the actor, who lost a nephew to a fentanyl overdose.
"There's an argument to be made, it's a legitimate argument, that a night like tonight is self-serving, narcissistic. It's a legitimate argument to be made,'" he said. "That said, I'll speak for myself, I am so fortunate....I'm so blessed to do what I do. I have a job where I can be part of a production like Dopesick, that actually can spawn thought, conversation, actual change, who gets to have that job? Seriously how fortunate am I that good can come from what I do just because I decided to be an actor?'
"I can feel the eye-rolling right now," he added, before tearing up as he dedicated his award to his sister and her late son. "The 'shut and dribble, shut up and act.' The acting, I'll quit. The shutting up, not so much."
Keaton and Dopesick EP Danny Strong spoke with ET about tackling the difficult subject matter when the series premiered last fall.
"I wasn’t really ready for the journey when I signed on," Keaton admitted. “It was compelling.” But even though he read a few scripts, it wasn’t until he was on set that he realized that "it’s going to be a lot more work than I bargained for."