Best Live Action Short Oscar winner Travon Free gives powerful speech decrying police violence
The Two Distant Strangers filmmaker ended his speech asking the audience, "Please don't be indifferent to our pain."
The 2021 Academy Awards witnessed a powerful moment when co-directors Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe won the Best Live Action Short Oscar for their film Two Distant Strangers.
Given how the Netflix short tells the story of a Black man stuck in a time loop forcing him to relive a fatal interaction with a cop, Free started his acceptance speech, "Today the police will kill three people. And tomorrow the police will kill three people. And the day after that, the police will kill three people because on average the police in America every day kill three people, which amounts to about a thousand people a year. And those people happen to disproportionately be Black people."
The filmmaker, who's also won an Emmy writing for Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, continued his speech with the James Baldwin quote "The most despicable thing a person can be is indifferent to other people's pain," and concluded by saying, "I just ask that you please not be indifferent. Please don't be indifferent to our pain."
Free's emotional speech was followed by Roe thanking those who helped make the film possible, including its stars Joey Bada$$, Andrew Howard, and Zaria.
Two Distant Strangers is available to stream on Netflix.