'Spotlight' Producers Address Pope Francis in Oscars Acceptance Speech: "It's Time to Protect the Children"

"This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican," said producer Michael Sugar.

Spotlight was named best picture at the 88th annual Academy Awards on Sunday night.

The drama showcasing the Boston Globe's reporting on the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal beat out The Big Short, Bridge of SpiesBrooklynMad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant and Room.

"This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican," said producer Michael Sugar. "Pope Francis, it's time to protect the children and restore the faith."

Producer Blye Pagon Faust thanked the real-life reporters from The Boston Globe's Spotlight team, and journalists at large: "Not only do they affect global change, but they absolutely show us the necessity for investigative journalism." Faust's producing partner Nicole Rocklin added of the cast, "If there ever was a perfectly calibrated ensemble, you are it."

Backstage, producer Steven Golin spoke about the challenges of making the film.

"I think that Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer wrote a really, really beautiful screenplay that was in conjunction with talking to ‑‑ it was kind of their own investigation into ‑‑ into what happened," Golin said. "And I think that Tom did a really great job of directing the movie in a way that was ‑‑ was very subtle and oddly entertaining. You know, there was a thriller aspect to the way the story unfolded. And I think that it's a real testament to Tom's direction and their screenplay, the way that they developed the story, because, you know, the logline of the story is not very commercial if you're not in this room."

Sugar added backstage: "I think anybody who expects to win an Oscar ‑‑ I think Leo was surprised tonight. And when you actually hear your name called, it's the most ‑‑ I don't know ‑‑ I don't know how you can describe that emotion. I don't have words for it. But I think we are all genuinely, like, thrilled to the core, and not just because it's a great personal accomplishment for us and for our companies, but it's really ‑‑ it's really an opportunity to bring this conversation to a world stage. And for that, we're really grateful."

Spotlight, taking home the last award of the night, also won the ceremony's first award: best original screenplay.

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