We’re barely halfway through the Oscars, and there’ve already been quite a few memorable moments from tonight’s telecast. Between hosts Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall sending a message to Florida, exciting wins, and heartfelt speeches, we honestly cannot choose our favorite moment yet. But one that stood out the most to us was definitely Ariana DeBose’s incredible speech for Best Supporting Actress.
DeBose, who adds her Oscar for her performance as Anita in West Side Story to a bevy of awards including a BAFTA, SAG, and Critics Choice Award, highlighted why the arts have always meant so much to her — and why they’re such a valuable outlet for many children across the world. “Lastly, imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus, look into her eyes: You see a queer, openly queer woman of color, an Afro Latina who found her strength in life through art. And that’s what I believe we’re here to celebrate,” DeBose said.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 28, 2022
“To anybody who has ever questioned your identity ever, ever, ever, or you find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this: There is indeed a place for us.” We have to imagine that DeBose’s words hardly left a dry eye in the auditorium. Her speech surely touched the hearts of a number of young audience members watching her historic win at the 94th Academy Awards.
DeBose’s speech was truly one of the greatest highlights of the evening thus far. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and her words truly struck a chord with so many. Even though this is only DeBose’s first Oscar, we know she has a long and incredible career ahead of her!
Before you go, click here to see the most memorable PDA moments at the Oscars over the years.