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Kudos to Milk's Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black

It was a moving Oscar night as Milk’s screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and Sean Penn picked up Acadamy awards for their work on the Harvey Milk biopic. You can see and read Black’s acceptance speech here.

Sean Penn graciously accepted the award, thanking the cast and crew and took a friendly jab at Hollywood (“You Commie, homo-loving sons of guns.”) and a big jab the those who were responsible for Prop 8 whose grandchildren will be ashamed at their dishonorable stand on civil equality. Watch it:

Expect the fundie eruptions shortly. Penn certainly did and said this about the Phelps hate machine.

Not exactly known for showing restraint when it comes to politics, Milk star Sean Penn was the picture of (relative) tact and discretion when pressed by multiple reporters to expand on his remark in his acceptance speech for Best Actor about the anti-gay religious protesters near the Kodak Theatre (an annual sight at the Oscars). “I’d tell [the protesters] to turn in their hate card and find their better self,” Penn said in a measured tone. “These are largely taught limitations and ignorances. It’s very sad, in a way.”

More below the fold.GLAAD’s reaction:

“GLAAD applauds those who have brought the important story of Milk to so many millions of people, and congratulates Dustin Lance Black and Sean Penn for their well-deserved Oscar wins,” said Neil G. Giuliano, President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). “They are to be commended for telling a story that has the power to inform future generations about the history of our community and our struggles for equality. Through Sean Penn’s own connection with the character, he was able to give audiences the opportunity to learn more about Harvey Milk’s lasting influence on our movement and our community.”

“The success of Milk has tremendous impact in creating awareness, understanding and acceptance during a time when our community continues to face opposition in our pursuit of equality,” added Giuliano. “The images of our community that these and other LGBT inclusive films bring to audiences around the country help people embrace the LGBT community with understanding and acceptance.”  

Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund:

“We offer our deepest thanks and congratulations to Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black.  Their extraordinary work on the film ‘Milk’ is richly deserving of the Academy Awards bestowed on them this evening.  Harvey Milk’s legacy is about facing fear and finding courage, which is something LGBT candidates do when they decide to run for office.  Sean and Dustin did the same thing when set out to make this extraordinary film, and we are very grateful for that.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding