The 2017 Oscars ended with one of the strangest moments in awards show history.
The wrong film was announced as best picture.
Due to the mix-up, Barry Jenkins, who directed the actual winner “Moonlight,” didn’t get to read the speech he prepared. On Sunday, Jenkins finally had the chance.
“I’m going to read something that I never read out loud before,” Jenkins said at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, on Sunday.
Jenkins continued, “[‘Moonlight’ writer, 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. You certainly don’t think he will grow up to win Best Picture. I’ve said that a lot, and what I 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.”
Jenkins then paused and told those in attendance, “That is the speech I would’ve read after winning best picture.”
The 2017 Oscar’s ended with “La La Land” being announced as best picture, even though “Moonlight” had actually won.
Jenkins also told those in the audience on Sunday that while filming “Moonlight” in Miami’s Liberty Square projects, that people in the community came out to watch the film being made.
“I turn and look back at one point and I see all these kids who are normally running through my shot. They’re sitting at video village, they’re literally sitting in our chairs,” Jenkins said.
He then rereads the portion of his Oscars speech saying about denying himself the dream of making a film like “Moonlight,” but after seeing those kids he realized, “They see in me the dream I never allowed myself to have.”
“If I cried that night it wasn’t because we won best picture,” he said. “I cried because I realized I denied myself that dream for so long that I didn’t even recognize it when, through the help of my friends, I was able to give that dream to someone else.”