Graham Moore gave an impassioned and emotionally powerful acceptance speech for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for ‘The Imitation Game.’ “Stay weird,” he said, as he offered words of encouragement to teens and opened up about his suicide attempt at age 16 and struggle for self-acceptance.
The 34-year-old author and screenwriter took home yet another trophy for his powerful screenplay for ‘The Imitation Game.’ which is based on Andrew Hodge’s book, ‘The Enigma,’ a biography of the British cryptoanalyst Alan Turing, and portrayed by Benedict Cumberbach in the movie. Graham Moore had received the top honors most recently at the Writers Guild of America Awards.
But at the 87th Oscars before a global audience of a billion or more he delivered what was arguaAnd in delivering his acceptance speech he went far beyond the usual thanks and gratitude for those who helped him along the way.
As Alan Turing was a closeted gay man, in an era of far less acceptance, faced much suffering and indeed faced persecution over his sexual orientation which ultimately led to his tragic, untimely death.
Graham Moore said in part, “Alan Turing never got to stand on a stage like this and look out on all of these disconcertingly attractive faces, and I do, and that’s the most unfair thing I think I’ve ever heard. So in this brief time here, what I want to use it to do is to say this.”
From there he opened up and shared moving words of comfort, empathy and concern for teens — indeed anyone — who may be facing struggles. His candor on the difficult subject of self-acceptance, self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts from lack of same, has become one of the shining moments of the 87th Oscars.
Moore said, ” When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself, because I felt weird, and I felt different, and I felt like I did not belong. And now I’m standing here, and I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. Stay weird, stay different, and then when it’s your turn, and you are standing on this stage, please pass the message to the next person who comes along.”
Immediately, #StayWeird became a trending hashtag on Twitter. And, as we have seen with other such hashtags, it became a powerful moment in social media, to share a message of hope and self acceptance.
But it all began with a celebrated writer’s candor and courage. Watch the replay of Graham Moore’s Oscars’ acceptance speech below!