The awkwardness of the situation robbed “Moonlight” and its creators of fully embracing and enjoying their moment in the sun.
Due to the mix-up, Barry Jenkins, the director of “Moonlight,” and producers were forced to make haphazard speeches while still visibly in shock, instead of speaking more deliberately about a film that explores issues with race and sexuality in the U.S. — which just happened to win Best Picture a year after the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite trended on Twitter.
“Very clearly, very clearly, even in my dreams this could not be true,” Jenkins said onstage. “But to hell with dreams, I’m done with it, because this is true. Oh, my goodness.”
He also added later: “There was a time when I thought this movie was impossible because I couldn’t bring it to fruition. I couldn’t bring myself to tell another story. So everyone behind me on this stage said, ‘No, that is not acceptable.’ So I just want to thank everyone up here behind me. Everyone out there in that room because we didn’t do this, you guys chose us. Thank you for the choice, I appreciate it.”
Jenkins spoke to Entertainment Weekly the day after the Oscars and admitted that he made an “imperfect statement that didn’t come out the right way.” He shared with EW and The Hollywood Reporter what he really wanted to say in his speech.
Under different circumstances, it would have sounded a little like this:
If only we would have been able to hear that on live TV.