Honorary Warwick Graduate wins Oscar

He won the Best Adapted Screenplay award for ‘Moonlight’

Tarell Alvin McCraney won the Oscar award for ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ alongside director Barry Jenkins last night.

He became an honorary Warwick graduate in 2014 and was the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) International Playwright in Residence for Warwick from 2008-2009  at the CAPITAL Centre.

Moonlight, a film inspired by McCraney’s play ‘In Moonlight Black Boys look Blue,also won the awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Picture.

The award for the best picture was awarded to the film after an awkward turn of events whereby La La Land was mistakenly announced.

Moonlight tells the story of a gay, black boy growing up in Miami, covering social themes including drug abuse and homophobia. Carol Rutter, Professor of Shakespeare and Performance Studies, said: “Moonlight is a beautiful, heartbreaking, gracious and important film. Based on Tarell’s life growing up in a Miami housing project, the child of a junkie mother, poor, black, gay — and having to ask, as an 8-year-old, ‘What’s a “faggot”? when that’s what the school bully called him.

“He [McCraney] once told me that he’d been told by a hero of his that ‘black men loving each other’ was ‘a revolutionary act’. Moonlight puts that ‘revolutionary act’ out there, to let all of us see — men, women; black, brown, white; hetero, homo, bi; and everything in between — that loving is what humans do best. It’s what makes us human.”

McCraney highlighted some of these themes in an impassioned acceptance speech, dedicating the award to “all those black and brown boys and girls and non-gender conforming [people]…thank you, thank you, this is for you.”