MOONLIGHT’s Barry Jenkins Reveals Planned Best Picture Speech (AWARDS 2016)


Barry Jenkins wasn’t able to say what he’d hoped to, but who can blame him?

The producer/writer/director of surprise Best Picture winner Moonlight was understandably flummoxed in the whirlwind of the biggest Oscars gaff ever. Everyone was in a state of shock following the envelope mishap that led to Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway erroneously naming La La Land as Best Picture, so we can only imagine how that shock was exponentially compounded in the hearts and minds of the actual winners, Jenkins among them.

Although Jenkins did acquit himself with grace (as did La La Land‘s blindsided producers led by Jordan Horowitz), he wasn’t able to compose his thoughts in the midst of the chaos. Jenkins tells Entertainment Weekly that had things gone according to protocol, here’s what he would’ve said (referring to him and co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney):

  • “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. 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. Much love.”

To read more of Jenkins’ thoughts on the night’s dramatic conclusion, including how Horowitz handled it, click here.

(EW’s exclusive morning-after photo also looks good in B&W, too.)


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