Ariana DeBose won the 2022 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony held Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
This is the first Oscar for DeBose, who won for her role as Anita in West Side Story.
DeBose kept her acceptance speech short and sweet, declaring that the film’s director Steven Spielberg is “stuck with [her] now,” and giving a shout out to Rita Moreno, the actress who won an Oscar for the same role 60 years prior.
She closed out her speech with an inspirational message to the queer community.
“Lastly, imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus. Look into her eyes, you see a queer, an openly queer woman of color, an Afro-Latina who found her strength in life through art and that’s what I believe we’re here to celebrate,” she proclaimed.
“So to anybody who has ever questioned your identity, ever, ever, ever, or you find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this. There is indeed a place for us. Thank you to the Academy and thank you all,” DeBose concluded.
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