Moonlight writers give best Oscars acceptance speech, dedicate gong to 'all people who feel they have no mirror'

Read Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney's empowering acceptance speech in full

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The Independent Culture

Moonlight deservedly bagging Best Picture after La La Land was mistakenly declared the winner may be this year's take home Oscars moment, but Barry Jenkins’s movie did get another drama-free moment in the spotlight.

Jenkins and his Moonlight co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney gave the best speech of the night for Best Adapted Screenplay, which they picked up before the ‘You won! Oh no, oops, you won!’ controversy had the UK waking up with their jaws on the floor.

The two “boys from Liberty City” used the platform to give the “black and brown boys and girls and non-gender conforming who don’t see themselves” a shout-out, while reflecting on their own histories growing up in Miami, where the film is set.

“For all you people out there who feel there is no mirror for you, that you feel your life is not reflected, the Academy has your back, the ACLU has your back, we have your back, and for the next four years we will not leave you alone, we will not forget you,” said Jenkins.

Moonlight beat Hidden Figures, Fences, Lion and Arrival to the gong, with Mahershala Ali winning Best Supporting Actor.

Read their acceptance speeches in full:

Barry Jenkins

“Thank you to the Academy. Thank you a24. Thank you Plan B. Thank you Adele Romanski. Thank you our amazing phenomenal cast. Thank you my mom, my sister, everybody in Miami. I also want to thank my reps, the three amigos, Jay Baker at CAA, Joel Ross and Jamie Feldman, uh, and I have to thank two women in particular, my publicist Paula Woods and Heather Seacrest at a24, thank you for taking care of me.

“You know, I, told my students that I teach sometimes be in love with the process, not the result, but I really wanted this result because a bajillion people were watching. And for all you people out there who feel there is no mirror for you, that you feel your life is not reflected, the Academy has your back, the ACLU has your back, we have your back, and for the next four years we will not leave you alone, we will not forget you.”

Tarell Alvin McCraney

“I just want to echo everything you just said and all those things, but I also want to say thank God for my mother, who’s proved to me through her struggles and the struggles Naomie Harris portrayed for all of you that we can really be here and be somebody.

“Two boys from Liberty City up here representing 305 — this goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls and non-gender conforming who don’t see themselves, we are trying to show you, you and us, so thank you, thank you, this is for you.”

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