This article was originally published by Them.
Everything Everywhere All At Once directing duo the Daniels won the Oscar for best director on Sunday night, and gave a shoutout to kids dressing in drag during their emotional joint acceptance speech.
Taking the stage, Daniel Scheinert said that their fellow nominees were their “heroes” and that the award was “weird.” He dedicated the golden statue to “all the mommies,” and specifically his own mom and dad. “Thank you for not squashing my creativity when I was making really disturbing horror films, or really perverted comedy films,” Scheinert said, “or dressing in drag as a kid, which is a threat to nobody.”
The crowd at the Dolby Theatre applauded the director’s barb at the anti-drag bills currently sweeping the country. Scheinert’s comments come in the wake of Tennessee’s ban on public drag performances, and as several other states weigh similar legislation.
Co-director Daniel Kwan also gave a memorable acceptance speech, saying, “The world is opening up to the fact that genius does not stem from individuals like us on stage, but rather genius emerges from the collective.”
“We are all products of our context,” Kwan said. “We are all descendants of something and someone and I want to acknowledge my context.”
He shouted out his “immigrant parents,” his father “who fell in love with movies because he needed to escape the world and thus passed that love of movies on to me,” and his mother, “who is a creative soul who wanted to be a dancer, actor and singer, but cannot afford the luxury of that life path.”
Kwan also thanked his son, Gio, who he said rearranges his “DNA every day and it's awful and beautiful every single time.” The director wrapped up his heartfelt speech by saying, “There is greatness in every single person. It doesn't matter who we are.”
“You have a genius that is waiting to erupt. You just need to find the right people to unlock that,” he said. “Thank you so much to everyone who has unlocked my genius. This means so much to us.”