If you’re steeped in internet culture circa 2012, you may recall a meme involving a picture of a man wearing a t-shirt that featured the Warner Bros. logo, with the following text on top: “If you see da’ police, Warn a Brother.”
In the middle of his acceptance speech for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes, “In The Fade” writer/director Fatih Akin randomly dropped a reference to that meme. As he was thanking the various companies who produced and distributed “In The Fade,” he just blurted it out.
“Thank you very much, Magnolia Pictures, for releasing the film in the U.S., you’re the best. thank you very much, my co-producers, Warner Bros. If you see a cop, warn a brother. I want to thank Pathe, from France, I want to thank everybody from Bombero International, especially Nurhan Sekerci-Porst, you made this.”
You can view the full speech above.
It’s just right there. the gag didn’t draw much of a response, either from the audience in the room or viewers at home tweeting through the show. It was that casual an utterance.
It does, oddly, fit right in on this politically charged evening, even if Akin wasn’t intending to specifically call out police for racial profiling. The Golden Globes ceremony has been blanketed with commentary about sexual misconduct by powerful men in Hollywood and gender inequality in general. The “warn a brother” joke may have been nothing more than a jokey reference, or it could have been a sly attempt at commentary — either way, it fit the night’s mood.