In fact, several of the acceptance speeches resulted in big life lessons for viewers regarding life, awareness and human rights — giving the audience a little something special to walk away with, too.
Here are the 7 lessons we learned during the 2015 Oscars acceptance speeches:
1. Call Your Parents, Kids: J.K. Simmons, Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash.
Simmons used his speech as an opportunity to remind people that human interaction — not Facebook or texting or messaging — is essential to life, especially within families.
“And if i may, call your mom,” he said. “Everybody — I’m told there’s like a billion people or so.Call your mom, call your dad. If you are lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call them. Don’t text, don’t e-mail. Call them on the phone. Tell them you love them and thank them and will be to them for as long as they want to talk to you.”
2. Women Deserve Equal Pay: Patricia Arquette, Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood.
Arquette’s speech may be the most talked about moment of the 2015 Academy Awards, especially after watching Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez‘s reactions. The actress called attention to equal opportunity for women.
“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights,” she expressed. “It’s time to have wage equality once and for all. And equal rights for women in the United States of America.”
Press and Kent wanted to draw the crowd’s attention toward suicide and raise awareness around the subject as a means of prevention.
“My main objective was to honor the responders and staff of the Veterans Crisis Line and the souls out there who are reaching out for help,” Perry explained. “I have a personal connection to the subject, I lost my son, who was 15 when he killed himself. We need to talk about suicide out loud to work against the stigma. The best prevention for suicide is awareness and discussion. We have a crisis with our veterans. More veterans have killed themselves than who died in these wars.”
As we’ve seen from these two musicians before, their main objective for any performance or speech regarding “Glory” is to make people understand that the fight for justice is not over, especially following events in Ferguson.
“We wrote this song for a film that was based on events that were 50 years ago,” Legend reveals. “But we say Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now. We know that the voting rights, the act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. We know that right now the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you that we are with you, we see you, we love you, and march on.”
5. Stay Weird, Stay Different: Graham Moore, Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game.
Moore utilized his acceptance speech to encourage people all around the world who have felt different, weird or left out to continue being themselves.
“So in this brief time here, what I want to use it to do is to say this: When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself, because I felt weird, and I felt different. And I felt like I did not belong. And now I’m standing here, and I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird, or she’s different, or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes, you do. I promise you do. Stay weird, stay different. And then when it’s your turn, and you are standing on this stage, please pass that same message to the next person who comes along.”
6. We Need to Raise Awareness Around Alzheimer’s Disease: Julianne Moore, Best Actress for Still Alice.
Other than making a joke about how winning an Oscar will keep her alive an additional five years, Moore took a moment during her acceptance speech to open discussion about Alzheimer’s disease.
“So many people with this disease feel isolated and marginalized,” she explained, adding that movies make people feel seen and not alone. “And people with Alzheimer’s deserve to be seen so we can find a cure.”
7. Treat Everyone, No Matter Their Race, With Respect and Dignity: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Best Picture for Birdman.
Mexican director González took a moment during his acceptance speech to reach out to those from his home country as well as immigrants in the United States, calling for respect and dignity amongst all.
“I want to take one second…I just want to take the opportunity…I want to dedicate this award for my fellow Mexicans, the ones who live in Mexico. I pray that we can find and build government that we deserve. And the ones that live in this country who are part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country, I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones who came before and build this incredible immigrant nation.”
This message was approved by Meryl Streep: