Wait, what? Why Daniel Kaluuya’s Oscars speech thanked his parents for having sex

Daniel Kaluuya won an Oscar on Sunday.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email

It’s not every day that you win an Oscar. So when it’s time to make the speech, every word counts.

So that’s why it was a little jarring when Daniel Kaluuya, who took home the Oscar for supporting actor for his role in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” thanked his parents... for having sex. Yes, really.

He began his speech by thanking God, his family and the support he’s gotten back in his native London. “I thank my mom. ... You gave me everything. You gave me your factory settings. So I can stand to my fullest height.”


Kaluuya’s mother and sister, watching from London, were televised during the ceremony. Looks of tearful pride beamed across their faces when Kaluuya’s name was announced.

Kaluuya’s mother, however, had a very different reaction by the end of his speech.

“It’s incredible. Like, it’s incredible, my mom and my dad, they had sex. It’s amazing, man. I’m here. So, I’m happy to be alive,” Kaluuya continued.

At a news conference after his win, Kaluuya addressed the elephant in the room.


“I think it’s pretty obvious that all our parents have sex,” he said. “It just kind of came out of my mouth. My mom is probably going to text me some stuff.”


Kaluuya, who accepted the award in Los Angeles, is not checking his messages any time soon, though.

“I think I’m going to avoid my phone for a bit. ... I think my mom’s not going to be very happy,” he said. “Nah, she’s going to be cool. ... She’s got a sense of humor; we give it to each other.”

Kaluuya, who won for his portrayal of Fred Hampton, also thanked the late civil-rights activist for his advocacy work in the Black Panther party.


“He found a way to feed kids breakfast, educate kids, give free medical care, against all the odds. ... Thank you so much for showing me myself.”

Twitter, of course, had a field day with Kaluuya’s impromptu remarks.


“Daniel Kaluuya just inspired the hell out of me. What an actor. What a man. And yes, his parents had sex,” tweeted comedian and actor Bob Saget.

Check out more reactions to Kaluuya’s speech below.




Times staff writer Yvonne Villarreal contributed to this report.

Subscribe Now

to continue reading

Loading ...

You've reached your free monthly limit


$1/8 weeks | $116/1 year

Subscribe Now

Cancel Anytime

Already have digital access? Log in

Log out

Print subscriber? Activate digital access