Perhaps the most gratifying part of the Oscars Sunday night was Ke Huy Quan’s acceptance speech, which he delivered after winning the “Best Supporting Actor” award for his role in “Everything Everywhere All At Once.”
“My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp. And somehow I ended up here, on Hollywood’s biggest stage,” said Quan. “They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it’s happening to me. This is the American dream.”
Overcome with emotion, Quan teared up as he thanked his wife, brother, and mother. “Thank you to my mom for the sacrifices you made to get me here. To my little brother David, who calls me every day just to remind me to take good care of myself. I love you, brother,” Quan continued. “I owe everything to the love of my life, my wife, Echo, who, month after month, year after year, for 20 years, told me that one day, one day, my time will come. Dreams are something you have to believe in. I almost gave up on mine. To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive. Thank you, thank you so much for welcoming me back. I love you.”
Quan’s speech is a notable departure from the dreaded woke virtue signaling that viewers are usually subjected to at the Academy Awards. The precedent for left-wing posturing was set during the 1973 awards show when Marlon Brando sent a woman named “Sacheen Littlefeather” to speak on his behalf about the plight of American Indian actors in Hollywood after he won “Best Actor” for his leading role in “The Godfather.” It was later revealed by her family that Littlefeather is actually a “pretendian,” and her real name is Maria Cruz. Cruz is Hispanic and her “Indian” heritage was entirely fabricated.
Over the years, the faux virtue-signaling has only become bolder and somehow more ridiculous. During the 88th Oscars, Leonardo DiCaprio gave a nauseating climate speech, yet to this day he continues to gallivant around the world in gas-guzzling private jets and yachts. It’s not just the Oscars, either; at the 2018 Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey took to the podium to ostensibly stand up for women and the “Me Too” movement. Winfrey was notably a close friend of convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein, who took advantage of countless women in Hollywood. Year after year, those who still watch the Oscars and other Hollywood award shows sit through speeches on racism, poverty, Trump, and even dolphin conservation.
Meanwhile, outside the Los Angeles Dolby Theatre where the Oscars are held, L.A. is suffering from a drug and homelessness crisis brought on by the very politicians supported by the rich celebrities preaching about systemic injustice inside.
Quan had a different tone when accepting his award: genuine gratitude, humility, and grace. He thanked his family, particularly his mother for the sacrifices she made for him. He also credited our country and the opportunities that America presented to him. He went from living in a refugee camp as a child, escaping the throes of communist Vietnam, to being honored at the American Academy Awards.
Instead of torturing viewers with carbon emission shaming or moments of silence for Ukraine, Quan encouraged everyone to never give up on their dreams. There was no talk of systemic injustice or depressing and false claims that the American dream is predicated on immutable qualities such as skin tone and sexual orientation. Quan’s message was earnest and inspiring. Clips of his remarks have since gone viral on social media because his sincerity struck a chord with viewers.
There’s a reason Quan’s speech resonates with Americans far more than DiCaprio’s or Littlefeather’s did. Nobody watches the Oscars to be hypocritically preached at. We watch for beautiful moments like Quan’s acceptance speech.
Maybe, if other celebrities follow Quan’s example, the Academy Awards can begin to regain the prestige and viewership that it’s been slowly losing, instead of obnoxious political posturing.