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And the Oscar goes to…Acceptance Speeches?

The 87th Annual Academy Awards was a night filled with Neil Patrick Harris in boxers, Wes Anderson as the Happiest Man Alive, and acceptance speeches that shined a light on important issues we are facing today. Granted, this year’s Academy Awards were far from perfect: the fact that the 2015 Academy Awards featured the least diverse group of nominees in over 20 years proves that Hollywood in and of itself is far from socially just, but there’s no denying that many of the Oscar winners used their positions of power to raise awareness for social issues. Here’s a look at some of our winners!

1. Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood

 

“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America”

2. Best Adapted Screenplay: Graham Moore for The Imitation Game

“When I was 16, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I did not belong. I would like this moment to be for the kid out there who feels like she’s weird and different and feels like she doesn’t belong. Yes, you do.”

3. Best Documentary: Laura Poitras for Citizenfour

“The disclosures that Edward Snowden revealed don’t only expose a threat to our privacy, but to our democracy itself. When the most important decisions being made affecting all of us are made in secret, we lose our ability to check the powers that control. Thank you to Edward Snowden for his courage, and for the many other whistleblowers. And I share this with Glenn Greenwald and other journalists who are exposing truth. Thank you.”

4.  Best Actress: Julianne Moore for Still Alice

“I’m so happy, thrilled actually, that we could shine a light on Alzheimer’s disease […] So many people with this disease feel isolated and marginalized, and one of the wonderful things about movies is it makes us feel seen and not alone. People with Alzheimer’s deserve to be seen, so that we can find a cure.”

5. Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything

“I’m fully aware that I am a lucky, lucky man. This Oscar belongs to all of those people around the world battling ALS.”

6. Best Original Song: John Legend, who accepted with Common, for Selma

“We know that the Voting Rights Act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. We know that right now the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you we are with you, we see you, we love you, and march on.”

7. Best Picture: Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

“I want to dedicate this award for my fellow Mexicans, the ones who live in Mexico. I pray that we can find and build the government that we deserve. And the ones that live in this country, who are part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country, I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones who came before and built this incredible immigrant nation.”

Photo Sources: 

Image 1: http://www.vogue.com/r/h_1320,w_880/2015/02/22/patricia-arquette-oscars-acceptance.jpg

Image 2: https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/graham-moore-imitation-game-oscar.jpg?w=670&h=377&crop=1

Image 3: https://prod01-cdn01.cdn.firstlook.org/wp-uploads/sites/1/2015/02/oscars-poitras-greenwald.jpg

Image 4: http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article10063493.ece/alternates/w620/Julianne%20gong%20Moore.jpg

Image 5: http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2015_09/900871/150222-oscar-legend-1124p_d235bf6fa19b3fbc08cef82be9602837.JPG

Image 6: http://i3.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article5218378.ece/alternates/s615b/Winner-for-Best-Actor-Eddie-Redmayne-accepts-his-award.jpg

Image 7: http://i.guim.co.uk/static/w-620/h–/q-95/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/2/23/1424667784091/1fd90929-1936-4c20-a633-f544fc754511-620×372.jpeg

Quote Sources:

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/2/23/from_selma_to_snowden_oscar_speeches

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/academy-awards-winners-speeches-were-all-about-causes-n310871

Mya is a sophomore at Brandeis University. She is an Education major with minors in African and Afro-American Studies and Anthropology. When she’s not writing, you can find Mya playing for the Brandeis women’s soccer team or attempting to navigate Boston. She also enjoys dancing and is a firm believer that what she lacks in technique she can make up in enthusiasm. She’s originally from sunny South Florida and can frequently be seen sporting her winter coat indoors. Follow her on Instagram @myagoodman for sporadic postings of her life!
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