The 2015 Oscar nominations are out, and from the looks of things we can expect lots and lots of cheesy speeches from white dudes telling you to follow your dreams (as if you weren’t trying to do that already). So for Throwback Thursday, we’ve rounded up some of the most inspiring awards speeches from a very diverse range of women, just to balance things out.
“Gray’s Anatomy”, “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder” creator Shonda Rhimes was classy and completely on point during her speech for accepting the 2014 Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, pointing out that her success in pushing through the glass ceiling was due to the exhausting efforts of all the women who came before her. Speeches like this make it easier to have faith that the next generation of creative women from all backgrounds will be able to tell their own stories.
The Golden Globes have a not totally undeserved rep for being the Oscars’ younger sillier cousin. The ceremony tends to be a little less formal, the hosts are sometimes actually funny, and most importantly, they let you drink. That can lead to some…interesting speeches by the end of the night. This isn’t one of those. Gina Rodriguez’s short, touching, charming speech touched on what turned out the theme of this year’s Globes, the growing desire for diverse stories in television and film. Rodriguez connects her personal story as an actress on a successful new show, to a wider narrative about representation and diversity in entertainment and she does it in way that is both optimistic and genuine. It’s a pretty awesome thing to watch.
When Lupita Nyong’o won Best Supporting Actress, the cheers that erupted from the audience were deafening. Her speech, full of thanks, was filled with the warmth of someone who not only understood what it meant to receive the award, but of someone who understood how the award would affect those watching. The last statement gets me every time, and Nyong’o has continued to be an iconic figure even at such a young age.
Laverne Cox has been at the front lines of the fight for transgender rights ever since the spotlight shone on her for her breakout role on Orange is the New Black. In fact, she’s done so much to raise awareness for transgender issues that GLAAD presented her with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at their media awards last year. Though it wasn’t for an Oscar (yet), her speech, calling for more equality, and more diversity of all kinds in storytelling, is bound to be far more moving and important to hear (and digest) than much of anything that will be said by the many straight white dude winners at this year’s Academy Awards.
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