March 25, 2001 – Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles CA
Oh my God. I’m sorry. This moment is so much bigger than me.
This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It’s for the women that stand beside me – Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett and it’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.
Thank you. I’m so honoured. I am so honored and thank the academy for choosing me to be the vessel from which this blessing might flow. Thank you.
I want to thank my manager, Vincent Cirrincione. He’s been with me for 12 long years and you’ve fought every fought [sic] and you’ve loved me when I’ve been up. But more importantly you’ve loved me when I’ve been down.
You have been a manager, a friend and the only father I’ve ever known and I love you very much.
I want to thank my Mom who’s given me the strength to fight every single day to be who I want to be and given me the courage to dream that this dream might be happening and possible for me. I love you Mom so much.
Thank you my husband, who is just the joy of my life. And India – thank you for giving me peace because only with the peace that you’ve brought me have I been allowed to go to places that I never even knew I can go. Thank you, I love you and India all my heart.
I want to thank Lion’s Gate. Thank you. Mike Pasternak, Tom Ortenberg for making sure everybody knew about this little tiny movie. Thank you for believing in me.
Our director Marc Forster – you’re a genius – you’re a genius. This movie-making experience was magical for me because of you. You believed in me, you trusted me and you gently guided me to very scary places. Thank you.
I want to thank Yvonna Chubick. I could have never figured out who the heck this lady was without you. I love you. Thank you.
I want to thank Lee Daniels, our producer. Thank you for giving me this chance – for believing that I could do it and now tonight I have this. Thank you.
I want to thank my agents CAA, Josh Lieberman especially. I have to thank my agents, Kevin Huvane – thank you, thank you for never kicking me out and sending me somewhere else – thank you.
I – who else – I have so many people that I know I need to thank um… my lawyers Neil Meyer. Thank you – OK wait a minute – I gotta take this – 74 years here – OK I’ve gotta take this time.
I gotta thank my lawyer Neil Myer for making this deal – Doug Stone.
I need to thank, lastly but not leastly [sic] I have to thank Spike Lee for putting me in my very first film and believing in me.
Oprah Winfrey – for being the best role model any girl can have. Jo Silver – thank you and thank you to Warren Beatty. Thank you so much for being my mentors and believing in me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.