Moonlight won Best Kiss at the MTV Movie and TV Awards! In their acceptance speech, actors Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome said:
“I really have to start with saying thank you to my parents,” said Jerome. “I love y’all so much. But on a real note I think it is safe to say that it is okay for us young performers, especially us minority performers, to step out of the box. It’s okay for us to step out of the box and do whatever it take to tell the story and whatever it takes to make the change.”
“This award is for that,” he added. “It’s for us artists who are out there, who need to do whatever it takes to get people to wake up.”
Sanders also took a moment to reflect on the importance of the honor.
“This award is bigger than Jharrel and I,” he said. “This represents more than a kiss. This is for those who feel like the unders, the misfits — this represents us. We love y’all and thank y’all.”
This scene is interesting to me because it’s a turning point. In this scene, these characters are essentially strangers to each other and have just reconnected. Miami is surrounded by water, it’s always present, and I felt that there needed to be a moment of spiritual transference between these two characters and this idea of a swimming lesson– of Juan teaching Little how to swim, how to sustain himself– seemed like the right place to do it. I told Mahershala, “This is a baptism, and I need you to teach him how to float. Teach him how to swim.” Alex Hibbert actually did not know how to swim. He’s learning how to swim as you’re watching the scene. And it’s beautiful, because in this moment, where I want this element of spiritual transference to occur – you watch a grown black man teach a young black boy how to swim in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.