Much of the buzz after Sunday's Academy Awards telecast was about the politics that worked their way into a number of winners' acceptance speeches.
For example, Best Supporting Actress honoree Patricia Arquette rocked the room by proclaiming, “To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen in 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."
Later, John Legend and Common, winners for best song, held forth on such civil-rights issues as voting rights and excessive incarceration. Documentarian Laura Poitras, whose winning film "Citizenfour" was about NSA leaker Edward Snowden, touched on surveillance and government secrecy. Top director and picture-of-the-year honoree Alejandro G. Inarritu spoke about immigration policy and Mexican governance.
There's a long history of Oscar winners using their 60-plus seconds in the spotlight to tout more than just the brilliance of their managers and studio partners. And often the advocacy is deeply personal, such as when adapted screenplay winner Graham Moore revealed that he'd tried to commit suicide as a teen who felt "weird" and "different." He then said, "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. You do. Stay weird, stay different." It brought the house down.
But should the Academy lend its Oscars stage to those whose causes are more clearly political -- when their advocacy aims to change lawmakers and voters more than the way people treat their neighbors? Take our fabulously unscientific poll, leave a comment or do both!
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