The Academy gave director Barry Jenkins and the film’s producers the chance to receive their Best Picture award properly at this year’s ceremony, they declined as it couldn’t recapture the moment they had lost. However, at SXSW Jenkins has revealed what he would have said.
He starts with a shout-out to Tarell McCraney, whose wrote the play the movie was based on. Here’s the speech, as reprinted by Deadline, “Tarell 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 — certainly don’t think he would grow up to win Best Picture. 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, realizing dreams you never allowed yourself to have.”