Amid the commotion on stage when ‘Moonlight’ was announced as the winner of Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, director Barry Jenkins was so distracted he was left unable to give the acceptance speech he’d wanted to.
However, now that things have died down (a little), he has now shared what he’d hoped to say after the win.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Barry explained the speech is deliberately short as “Best Picture is a producer’s award”, but he does still manage to make a poignant statement about representation in cinema.
The full speech reads:
“Tarell [Alvin McCraney, who co-wrote ‘Moonlight’] and I are Chiron. We are that boy.
“And when you watch ‘Moonlight’, you don’t assume a boy who grew up how and where we did would grow up and make a piece of art that wins an Academy Award. I’ve said that a lot, and what I’ve had to admit is that I placed those limitations on myself, I denied myself that dream. Not you, not anyone else — me.
“And so, to anyone watching this who sees themselves in us, let this be a symbol, a reflection that leads you to love yourself. Because doing so may be the difference between dreaming at all and, somehow through the Academy’s grace, realising dreams you never allowed yourself to have. Much love.”
While Barry was unable to say all he wanted to after winning Best Picture due to the mix-up on stage, he was able to provide one of the night’s more stirring moments when ‘Moonlight’ won Best Screenplay.
Barry, the first to address the audience, stated: “I tell 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 are watching, and for all the people out there who feel like there’s no mirror for you, that your life isn’t reflected, the Academy has your back, the ACLU has your back, we have your back.