Graham Moore, who on Sunday won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Imitation Game,” took the opportunity to give a powerful acceptance speech calling awareness to teen suicide and depression, recalling his own attempt at suicide at age 16.
“Here’s the thing,” Moore said. “Alan Turing never got to stand on a stage like this and look out at all of these disconcertingly attractive faces. I do! And that’s the most unfair thing I’ve ever heard.”
“So in this brief time here, what I wanted to do was say this: When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different, and I felt like I did not belong. And now I’m standing here… and so I would like this moment to be for this 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. Stay weird, stay different and then, when it’s your turn, and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along. Thank you so much!”
“The Imitation Game tells the story of Alan Turing, the father of modern computing, who cracked impossible German codes in World War II and helped end the war. After the war, Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts, when such behavior was still criminalized in Britain. He was forced to undergo chemical castration as an alternative to prison. He died by suicide in 1954 at 41 years old.
Watch Moore’s acceptance speech here:
Though many assumed that Moore is gay because of his connection to Turing, at the Governors Ball after the ceremony, he told BuzzFeed News, “I’m not gay, but I’ve never talked publicly about depression before or any of that and that was so much of what the movie was about and it was one of the things that drew me to Alan Turing so much. I think we all feel like weirdos for different reasons. Alan had his share of them and I had my own and that’s what always moved me so much about his story.”