The director and writer of Oscar-winning Moonlight used their big moment to put Donald Trump on notice.
Moonlight became the first ever LGBT-themed film to win the coveted Best Picture award at the Oscars last night, despite a confusion which initially saw La La Land announced as the winner.
But away from the mix-up, another poignant moment came earlier in the evening, when the film’s director Barry Jenkins and writer Tarell Alvin McCraney also picked up the award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Taking to the stage, the pair paid tribute to the film’s subject matter, addressing their speeches to people who feel marginalised. Jenkins wore a blue American Civil Liberties Union ribbon, whereas McCaraney wore a red HIV ribbon.
Director Barry Jenkins said: “I tell my students to 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, the playwright who penned the original script, added: “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.”
It was one of a number of statements of equality throughout the evening, with many guests wearing pins in support of ACLU or LGBT charities.
Snger and songwriter Sting, ‘Moonlight’ actor Jaden Piner, costume designer Colleen Atwood, and E!’s Brad Goreski all wore a“&” symbol as part of a GLAAD campaign to express solidarity against hateful and non-inclusive legislation, policy, and rhetoric.
Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO said: “When celebrities use their platforms to speak out against discrimination it sends a message that reaches millions.
“By wearing these pins at the Academy Awards and becoming part of the Together movement these actors and influencers are letting the country know that they won’t back down from this administration’s hateful policies.
“Congratulations to Moonlight on its well-deserved win for Best Picture. Film is our largest cultural export and must represent the full diversity of the people who make up this country.
“This sends a strong message to the film industry that it needs to embrace inclusive stories if it wants to remain competitive and relevant.”