‘Moonlight’ director Barry Jenkins has finally been able to give his Oscars acceptance speech
He waited a full year for this
For all the outrage, confusion and – yes – memes which surrounded the 2017 Best Picture snafu, one thing was largely forgotten.
After mistakenly announcing La La Land as the winner of the Oscar, the Academy corrected its error and confirmed Moonlight was in fact the victor.
The mistake led to a new set of rules, designed specifically to prevent this sort of thing happening again, but all the talk around the mistake itself ignored one thing.
Amid all the confusion, it’s easy to forget that Barry Jenkins, director of Moonlight, was denied the opportunity to deliver the full acceptance speech he wanted for what should have been the proudest night of his career.
We recently learned Jenkins, who has signed up to work on a series for Amazon Prime, had planned to give a speech about the inspirational power of Moonlight’s lead character Chiron.
However, amid all the confusion around the mistake in the presentation of the award, this was ultimately shelved… until now.
Speaking at the SXSW festival in Texas, Jenkins gave a moving speech to audience members in which he spoke about the limitations he placed on himself.
And, at the end of it all, he admitted the words he used were the same ones he planned to use when going up on stage last year to collect his award for Best Picture.
“Tarell [playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, who wrote the story behind the film] and I are Chiron,” Jenkins said, as transcribed by Mashable.
“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.”