The Academy Awards

Season 81 Episode 1

The 81st Annual Academy Awards

Aired Sunday 8:30 PM Feb 22, 2009 on ABC

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    • Dustin Lance Black: Oh my God. This was, this was not an easy film to make. And first off, I have to thank Cleve Jones and Anne Kronenberg and all the real-life people who shared their stories with me. And Gus Van Sant, Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco and our entire cast, my producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, everyone at Groundswell and Focus for taking on the challenge of telling this life-saving story.

      When I was thirteen years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas, to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life. It gave me the hope one day I could live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could even fall in love and one day get married. I wanna, I wanna thank my mom, who has always loved me for who I am even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us thirty years ago, I think he'd want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches or by the government or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you God does love you, and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you, God, for giving us Harvey Milk.