Representation is key in film
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Following the 2017 Oscars Best Picture flub, sympathy for “La La Land” and the embarrassing moment its cast and crew had to face after being wrongly named winner was all that various media platforms talked about once the show ended. But what about “Moonlight” and the importance of an all-black, LGBTQ-centered movie winning the highest honor from The Academy, whose members are not historically known for recognizing similar movies?
It could be easy for some cisgender, heterosexual white men and women —who constantly see themselves positively and realistically represented on TV and film — to rob “Moonlight” of its win and use the mishap to support beliefs that the Oscars, and other award shows, are meaningless. For people of color and those who are a part of the LGBTQ community, that moment was anything but.
“Moonlight” does not tell everyone’s story, but it is an important story that brings up issues that tend to be ignored or deemed mutually exclusive. Although the award for Best Picture is a honor for the movie’s producers, to have a film that realistically represents communities that are never typically acknowledged by The Academy is the most significant thing that should have been taken away from the night.
Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney said it best in their acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars, reassuring those “who feel like there’s no mirror” for them that they will always have support and will not be left alone.
“This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls, and non gender conforming, who don’t see themselves. We are trying to show you, you and us. Thank you, this is for you.”