Graham Moore’s Oscar speech equated gay with weird. Is that fair?

February 23, 2015 11:58 PM

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Graham Moore’s Oscar speech equated gay with weird. Is that fair?

When Graham Moore won the Oscar last night for Best Adapted Screenplay for his writing work on The Imitation Game, he tried—to his credit—to make a socially conscious and heartfelt acceptance speech. My Outward colleague June Thomas parsed Moore’s words quickly thereafter, praising his attempt to use the platform to say something meaningful about difference and acceptance, but raising a note of concern about the writer’s conflation of Alan Turing’s experience as a homosexual man in the mid-20th century with the more generalized plight of people society deems “weird.” During his speech, Moore—who confirmed to BuzzFeed early Monday morning that despite widespread assumption to the contrary, he does not identify as gay—revealed that his own vague adolescent weirdness and concomitant difficulties led him to the precipice of suicide when he was 16, and he offered his success as a sort of “It Gets Better” case study for teens who might feel like outsiders themselves.

Obviously, Moore’s general sentiment is a fine one—nobody is debating that—and any criticism of his delivery must of course be tempered by an allowance for the craziness of speaking from the Oscar stage. But those who are expressing discomfort with the speech are not wrong to find fault with Graham’...

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