Most Academy Award winners stay safe with their speeches, thanking family members and colleagues. But Graham Moore decided to be brave.
The writer of “The Imitation Game”, who won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, used his few minutes on stage to share how he attempted suicide as a teen, and his hope that he could empower other young people to celebrate their differences and be kind to themselves.
“When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself, because I felt weird, and I felt different, and I felt like I did not belong,” he said. “And now I’m standing here, and so I would for like this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird, or she’s different, or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes you do, I promise you do, you do. Stay weird, stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person that comes along.”
The theme of mental health came up again and again during the night.
Dana Perry, the producer of "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1", which won in the Documentary Short Subject category, told the audience how she'd lost her son to suicide in 2005.
"We need to talk about suicide out loud to try to work against the stigma and silence," she said during her speech.
Actress Julianne Moore, who won best actress for her role as a woman with early-onset Alzheimer's in "Still Alice", said in her speech she was "thrilled" the film could highlight the experience of those with the disease.
“So many people with this disease feel isolated and marginalized. One of the beautiful things about movies is it makes us feel seen and not alone. People with Alzheimer’s deserve to be seen, so we can find a cure.”
We're glad that the usually light-hearted Oscars, with their ritual focus on the red carpet and host's jokes, could be used to talk about mental health. The more often this happens in Hollywood, the better.
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