GLAAD Celebrates ‘Moonlight’ as First LGBT Best Picture Winner

LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD praised Moonlight‘s Best Picture win at Sunday night’s Academy Awards, saying in a statement that the film being awarded with the movie industry’s biggest prize sends a “strong message” to Hollywood about the importance of diversity.

“Congratulations to Moonlight on its well-deserved win for Best Picture,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement provided to Entertainment Weekly.

“Film is our largest cultural export and must represent the full diversity of the people who make up this country,” Ellis added. “This sends a strong message to the film industry that it needs to embrace inclusive stories if it wants to remain competitive and relevant.”

The Barry Jenkins-directed pic — centered on the coming-of-age story of a young gay black man in Miami — triumphed over industry darling La La Land to claim the top prize at Sunday night’s ceremony in one of the most unusual endings to an Oscars broadcast in recent memory.

After presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced La La Land the Best Picture winner, La La producer Jordan Horowitz informed the Moonlight team that there had been a mistake, and that their film was the true winner. Hollywood publications have already taken to calling the moment the most significant debacle in Oscars history.

Moonlight claimed two other awards Sunday night; the 37-year-old Jenkins earned Best Adapted Screenplay honors, while Mahershala Ali claimed the Best Supporting Actor prize.

At the ceremony, Jenkins wore a blue GLAAD ampersand pin on his tuxedo.

“It’s an ampersand because it’s about togetherness,” the first-time Oscar-winner told Elle. “It’s about bringing all of us together — about inclusivity, inclusiveness.”

During his acceptance speech, Jenkins said that he would work over the next four years to inspire people who feel they are not represented in Hollywood.

“All you people out there who feel like there’s no mirror for you, that your life is not reflected, the Academy has your back, the ACLU has your back, we have your back,” he said. “And for the next four years, it will not you alone. We will not forget you.”

La La Land led all films at the Oscars with six wins, including Best Actress for Emma Stone and Best Director for Damien Chazelle.

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