LOS ANGELES — Graham Moore brought the Academy Awards audience to its feet in a standing ovation when the Oscar winner for best adapted screenplay revealed during an emotional acceptance speech that as an awkward, unhappy teenager he had attempted suicide.
“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,” said Moore, his voice quavering with emotion as he cradled his Oscar for “The Imitation Game.”
“And now I’m standing here,” he continued, adding that he wanted to take a moment to reassure youngsters with similar feelings not to despair.
“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,” he said. “Yes you do. I promise you do. You do. Stay weird. Stay different. And then when it’s your turn and you are standing on the stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along.”
Moore had begun his acceptance speech in a more lighthearted tone, thanking numerous people, before noting that his film’s subject, Alan Turing, never got the chance to stand on a stage and accept a similar honor.
“And that’s the most unfair thing I think I’ve ever heard,” he said.
Turing, the emotionally fragile genius whose work helped crack the Nazi code and shorten World War II, committed suicide in 1954 after being prosecuted by British authorities for being gay, which was unlawful in the U.K. at that time.