Click-baity outlets are hailing Graham Moore’s acceptance speech as “the most moving” or “most powerful” statement made at the Oscars last night, and while the speech was certainly inspiration-heavy, it also left us with more questions than answers. What’s the deal with Graham Moore anyway?
As you probably already know, Moore wrote the screenplay (adapted from the book by Andrew Hodges) for the controversial film The Imitation Game, a biopic exploring the life of important queer hero Alan Turing. While the movie received considerable praise (especially last night), some people in the LGBT community were upset by the straight-washing of historical events, the filmic version of which focused on the protagonist’s sexuality hardly at all.
All that controversy led many to investigate the team behind the movie, including Moore, who has never himself identified as gay. It would be too simplistic to dismiss Moore as a closet case due to his slightly femme-y affect; it’s hard to not take him at face value when he has quite bluntly proclaimed his straight-ness.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at that acceptance speech:
While encouraging kids to “Stay weird.” and “Stay different.” is an important and well-received message, it is also surprisingly vague. There are plenty of reasonable socio-political reasons to not draw the connection between suicide and queerness, and yet (perhaps like the movie being awarded last night) the suspicious absence of overt queerness in the speech is absolutely questionable. Astutely noted by Slate writer June Thomas : “The truth of the matter is that the social force behind anti-gay prejudice is far stronger and more pernicious than the animus against social outcasts. Moore’s heart was surely in the right place, but I wish he hadn’t conflated these identities.”
Moore was quick to clarify his comments to Buzzfeed:
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.
So, we ask again, what’s the deal with Graham Moore? Was this a case of him telling a sincere personal narrative devoid of queerness? Or, more cynically, was this just another gay-baiting move to elicit sympathy from LGBTs and their bleeding-heart allies?
Speculate away in the comments, below!