Graham Moore’s “Weird or Different” Oscars Speech
Talk about something going instantly viral. Almost as soon as screenwriter Graham Moore opened his mouth to accept the award for Best Original Screenplay (for The Imitation Game), his words were broadcast all over the internet: “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.”
Watch Moore’s moving speech here, then talk about it with your family:
Young Elementary Children (up to Age 8):
Is “different” the same as “weird?”
What are some ways you’re different from your friends? What about ways you’re different from your parents or siblings?
Have you ever thought that something or someone seemed “weird?” What makes something “weird,” to you?
Has anyone ever said that something about you was “weird?” How did that make you feel?
What are some things you could say to someone who’s calling you or a friend “weird” or “different?”
Older Elementary Children (up to Age 12):
Has there ever been a time when you felt different from everyone else around you? What was that like?
Have you ever felt pressured to change something about yourself to seem more like others around you? What did you do?
Have you ever thought that something or someone was “weird,” but later changed your mind? What helped you to change your thinking about what’s “weird” and what’s not?
What is one thing about a friend or family member that you see as both different and wonderful?
What is one thing about yourself that you think might be both different and wonderful?
Teens and Adults:
Talk about a time when you felt the most “weird” or “different” from other people. What was hard about that experience? Were there any good things about it?
Do you think that the things that make you feel different or weird might change, based on who you’re with or where you are? Are there people, places or activities that make you feel like your differences are not so “weird” after all?
How do the people in your life treat others that they see as “different?”
Think of someone you know who you might see as “weird.” What do you like about them? Could their “weirdness” ever be a good thing? How might it be a strength?
Graham Moore says that he wants everyone to pass along the message that it’s okay to feel different, because you’ll find a place where you belong. What are some ways you could pass along that message, without having a microphone and an audience of millions?
Part of the reason Graham Moore’s speech was so touching to many was because he shared his very personal story of attempting suicide as a teen. While the dinner table may or may not be the right place to deepen conversations about suicide prevention, we believe that it’s important for families to have the right resources concerning this urgently important issue. We recommend that parents review the following resources at their discretion:
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
The Jason Foundation’s Parent Resource Program
When Teens Talk of Suicide: What You Need to Know from Commonhealth