In the confusion that was the Best Picture mix-up, “Moonlight” Director Barry Jenkins scrapped his original acceptance speech that he had written. Best Picture goes to the producers of the film, so what he wrote was brief. The Hollywood Reporter published his speech in its entirety:
Tarell [Alvin McCraney] 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.
That may have been the most inspirational speech of the night.