The Best Quotes from the 2019 Oscars Acceptance Speeches
Without a host, the 2019 Oscars were more reliant than ever on presenters and winners to deliver entertaining and memorable moments. Luckily, many of the night's stars came through, and the acceptance speeches — some of which accompanied historic wins — were particularly poignant. Click through to read the best quotes from the 2019 Oscars acceptance speeches. (Photos via Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images + Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Ruth E. Carter: After receiving nominations in 1993 and 1998 for Malcolm X and Amistad, Carter finally won the Oscar for Best Costume Design for Black Panther on Sunday night. She is the first Black woman in the Academy's history to win the category.
"This has been a long time coming," she said as she took the stage to accept her award. "Marvel may have created the first Black superhero, but through costume design, we turned him into an African king. It's been my life's honor to create costumes. Thank you to the Academy, and thank you for honoring African royalty and the empowered way women can look and lead on screen. … Our genius director, Ryan Coogler, you are a guiding force. Thank you for your trust and understanding my role in telling the African-American story. … This is for my 97-year-old mother watching in Massachusetts. Mom, thank you for teaching me about people and their stories. You are the original superhero." (Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Hannah Beachler: Black Panther racked up another historic victory with Beachler's Production Design award, which made her the first African-American to be nominated for and then win the category. "I stand here stronger than I was yesterday," Beachler said in her speech as she fought back tears. "I stand here with agency and self-worth because of Ryan Coogler, who not only made me a better designer, [but] a better storyteller, a better person. I stand here because of this man who offered me a different perspective of life, who offered me a safe space, who's patient and gave me air, humanity, and brotherhood. Thank you, Ryan, I love you."
She went on to share a message of hope for everyone watching: "I give this strength to all of those who come next, to keep going, to never give up. And when you think it's impossible, just remember to say this piece of advice I got from a very wise woman: I did my best, and my best is good enough." (Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Alfonso Cuarón: Accepting his award for his Best Foreign Language Film for Roma, Cuarón paid tribute to his Mexican heritage. "Cinema, at its best, builds bridges to other cultures," he said. "As we cross these bridges, this experience, and these new shapes and these new faces, we need to realize why they may be strange, [why] they are not unfamiliar. We need to understand how much we have in common," he continued. "This film would have not been possible without the specific colors that make me who I am. Gracias famila y gracias Mexico." (Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, and Rodney Rothman: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, but the award was just a bonus for the filmmakers, who said they felt the real victory was the reaction to the representative superhero movie. "When we hear that somebody's kid was watching the movie and turned to them and said, 'He looks like me,' or 'They speak Spanish like us,' we feel we've already won,” writer and co-producer Phil Lord said.
"To our audience, thank you so much," Ramsay continued. "We love you and we just want you all to know: We see you. You're powerful. This world needs you, okay? This world needs you. So, please, we're all counting on you. Thank you." (Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Domee Shi: Bao director Shi, the first woman to helm a Pixar short, had a message for other young women who aspire to become animators. "To all the nerdy girls out there who hide behind your sketchbooks, don't be afraid to tell your stories to the world," she said as she accepted the Best Animated Short award alongside producer Becky Neiman-Cobb. "You're gonna freak people out, but you'll probably connect with them, too, and that's an amazing feeling to have." (Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton: Zehtabchi and Berton won the Best Documentary Short Oscar for their film Period. End of Sentence., about the period shame faced by women in India, and they could not have been more excited. "I'm not crying because I'm on my period or anything!" director Zehtabchi said excitedly. "I can't believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!"
Berton, who produced the film, went on to speak about the inspiration for the documentary. "This film began because high school students here and our brave partners at Action India wanted to make a difference, a human rights difference," she explaind. "I share this with teachers and with students around the world. A period should end a sentence. Not a girl's education." (Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Spike Lee: Lee finally won his first-ever Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman, and the revered director gave a spirited speech, which started with him telling the producers not to start the 90-second clock on him. "The word today is 'irony.' The date, the 24th. The month, February, which also happens to be the shortest month of the year, which also happens to be Black History Month. The year, 2019. The year, 1619. History. Her story. 1619. 2019. 400 years," he began.
"Four hundred years. Our ancestors were stolen from Mother Africa and brought to Jamestown, Virginia, enslaved. Our ancestors worked the land from can't see in the morning to can't see at night," he continued, before going on to pay tribute to his own grandmother, who "saved 50 years of social security checks" to put him through college.
"Before the world tonight, I give praise to our ancestors who have built this country into what it is today along with the genocide of its native people," he said. "We all connect with our ancestors. We will have love and wisdom regained, we will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment. The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let's all mobilize, let's all be on the right side of history, let's choose love over hate, let's do the right thing!" (Photo via Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)
Lady Gaga: "This is hard work. I've worked hard for a long time. It's not about winning. It's about not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it," an emotional Gaga said as she accepted her Oscar for Best Original Song for "Shallow," from A Star Is Born. "It's not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or you're beaten up. It's about how many times you stand up and are brave and you keep on going." (Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Rami Malek: Malek's role as Queen singer Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody made him the first Arab-American to win the Oscar for Best Actor. "To anyone struggling with their [identity] and trying to find their voice, we made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself," he said. "The fact that I'm celebrating this story with you tonight is proof that we're longing for stories like this. I am the son of immigrants from Egypt, a first-generation American. And part of my story is being written right now. And I could not be more grateful to each and every one of you, and everyone who believed in me for this moment. It’s something I will treasure for the rest of my life." (Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Alfonso Cuarón (Again): The Roma director stepped to the podium several times at the 2019 Oscars, and when he accepted his award for Best Director, he turned the spotlight on the domestic workers and Indigenous women that his film celebrates. "I want to thank the Academy for recognizing a film that was centered around an Indigenous woman," he began. "One of the 70 million domestic workers around the world without worker rights, a character that has historically been relegated to the background of cinema. As artists, our job is to look where others don't. This responsibility becomes much more important when we're being encouraged to look away." (Photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images)