Metro Weekly

The Daniels Call Drag ‘A Threat To Nobody’ in Oscar Speech

The Daniels made poignant remarks in support of the LGBTQ community during their Best Direction Oscar acceptance speech.

Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan accepting their Best Direction Oscar - Photo: ABC Screenshot
Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan accepting their Best Direction Oscar – Photo: ABC Screenshot

This year’s Oscars turned out to be a big night for the indie scene as Everything Everywhere All At Once, the latest movie from directing duo The Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) won big. The movie took home seven trophies out of the 11 nominations it received.

One of the most impressive and notable wins for The Daniels was the Best Director award, which is rarely given to non-solo directors. Scheiner made a heartfelt speech during the ceremony, thanking not only his parents but also “all the mommies” in the world.

Scheinert emphasized the importance of supporting a child’s imagination and interests, saying to his parents, “Thank you for not squashing my creativity when I was making really disturbing horror films, or really perverted comedy films.”

He then added, “or dressing in drag as a kid, which is a threat to nobody,” with particular emphasis.

Everyone both in that room and watching at home understood the point.

The crowd applauded loudly for the comment, which was obviously in reference to the slew of anti-drag laws and regulations that have been proposed and even passed in a number of states throughout the past few months.

For instance, Tennessee recently banned public drag performances. Unfortunately, this may be just the beginning, as many other states are in the process of implementing similar – or sometimes even more disturbing – laws and regulations.

While The Daniels’ win was impressive, they made sure to credit their entire team for the movie’s success.

Kwan made it clear that the movie wasn’t just a product of two people’s creativity. “Genius does not stem from individuals like us on stage, but rather genius emerges from the collective,” he said.

The Daniels themselves would take home three statues at the 2023 Oscars, an impressive sum that few people have managed in a single evening. The pair collected Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture, as they wrote, directed, and co-produced Everything Everywhere All At Once

The film deals directly with LGBTQ issues, and thus it’s not surprising that The Daniels believe what’s happening to the art form of drag in America is intolerable.

The movie focuses partially on the relationship between Michelle Yeoh’s Evelyn Wang and her daughter, Stephanie Hsu’s Joy Wang. Joy is dating a woman, and while Evelyn says she’s fine with it, they do end up having to hash things out in a touching and heartwarming speech that meant a lot to LGBTQ viewers.

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