Social change stirring in Academy Awards

Image by FashionTrends andTips via Flickr

Johanna Carrascal | Contributing Writer


This year’s 87th Academy Awards ceremony, also known as The Oscars, served as a platform for celebrities to bring awareness about topics they are passionate about and are affecting today’s society. Celebrities took a portion of their acceptance speeches to touch delicate subjects such as suicide, racism, equal pay, immigration and more.

The Oscars, presented by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is designed to honor the hardworking and prestigious actors, actresses, film makers, directors and anyone who was involved in producing these successful films. It is the night celebrities, especially those in film, all wait for. From the glitz and glamour of who wore it best and lavishing afterparties, celebrities and home viewers tune in for the much anticipated event.

Yet there was something magical about this year’s Academy Awards that left me in awe. It seems to me that celebrities are finally using their power for good. Although there were many inspirational speeches, there was a certain few that stood out and had people talking still days after the event.

First-time nominee Graham Moore won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on the film “The Imitation Game.” Moore took his inspiration from the man in the center of the plot, Alan Turing, who was an important element in the advancement of computer science and cracked the impossible German code during World War II, giving the allies an opportunity to change the course of the war. However, he was later prosecuted for being an openly gay man which ultimately led him to take his life.

Graham started off his speech by sharing intimate moments of his life where he too has thought about taking his life because he was not always accepted or simply called weird. Moore stated, “I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels that she’s weird or she’s different or she just doesn’t fit in. Yes you do. I promise you do. Stay weird, stay different.” This speech made such an impact that social media frenzy was filled with stay weird hashtags showing great support from fans and fellow colleagues.

They say you can’t win when you talk politics at the Oscar, but that didn’t stop Patricia Arquette. Academy Award winner for Supporting Actress in “Boyhood,” Arquette took the stage for her acceptance speech, but did not leave before clearly leaving her point of view on equal pay. “To every women 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!”

This feminism inspired speech received applause from the audience, including myself. Arquette had whopping reactions from Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez.

Undeniably, this year’s Oscars was one for the books. I look forward to future Award shows, not for the designer dresses strutting the red carpet, but for more inspiring and pro-active speeches that I am sure are soon to come. With a much more connected society we live in now thanks to social media and other technologies, it is speeches like these that start a movement to create a greater world.

Be the first to comment on "Social change stirring in Academy Awards"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.