The Oscars continue to make news today, more for what the winners said than what they won. (Tweet this) Alejandro González Iñárritu, after winning the Best Picture award, made a plea for immigration reform. Julianne Moore won Best Actress for portraying an Alzheimer’s victim, and told the audience, “People with Alzheimer’s deserve to be seen.” Eddie Redmayne won Best Actor for playing a victim of ALS, and said, “This Oscar belongs to all of those people around the world battling ALS.”
Patricia Arquette ended her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress with a call for women’s rights. When J. K. Simmons won Best Supporting Actor, he used the occasion to tell children everywhere, “Call your mom, call your dad. . . . Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them on the phone. Tell ’em you love ’em, and thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.”
Speaking of parents, consider an interview before the awards began. Melanie Griffith was standing beside her daughter, Dakota Johnson, who stars in Fifty Shades of Grey. A reporter asked Griffith if she had seen the movie. She immediately answered, “No, I don’t think I can.” Johnson was clearly angered and even the reporter tried to get Griffith to see it, but she was firm. If a film is so immoral that a mother can’t see her daughter act in it, why should anyone else see it?
In other news, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was recently asked whether President Obama is a Christian and said he didn’t know. His response has renewed debate over the president’s faith. While Mr. Obama has only visited church services 19 times since taking office, his close friends and advisors say his faith remains strong.
On the subject of celebrity and faith, Lester Holt is making news as well. When he stepped in for Brian Williams at NBC, his strong faith quickly came to the fore. A regular at the Manhattan Church of Christ, he is described by an elder: “Lester is a humble and loving Christian—a faithful member of our congregation who doesn’t seek attention to himself. He often helps to lead our worship, and his remarks are always an inspiration to us.”
Most of us had never heard of Alejandro González Iñárritu before he won an Academy Award, but his heartfelt plea on behalf of Mexican immigrants made a deep impression. President Obama’s personal church attendance would be a private matter if he weren’t president. Lester Holt’s commitment to Christ is making news now that he’s broadcasting the news.
What platform has God entrusted to you? Jesus noted, “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light” (Luke 11:33). How will your light reflect the Light of the world (John 9:5)?
Graham Moore, winner of an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, told the audience, “When I was 16, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird… I would like this moment to be for the kid out there who feels like she’s weird and different and feels like she doesn’t belong… Yes, you do.” He later explained that he decided when he took the stage, “I might as well use it to say something meaningful.”
What will you do with your stage today?