“Moonlight’s” young stars Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome win Best Kiss at MTV Movie Awards

“This award is bigger than Jharrel and I. This represents more than a kiss. This is for those who feel like the others, the misfits — this represents us.”

Those are the powerful words from Ashton Sanders, 21, at the MTV Movie Awards over the weekend, who together with his Moonlight costar Jharrel Jerome, 19, took home the popcorn statue in the Best Kiss category.

“I think it’s safe to say that it is okay for young performers, especially us minority performers, to step out of the box,” Jerome added. “This award is for that. It’s for artists who need to step out of the box and do whatever it takes to tell a story and whatever it takes to make a change, to get people to wake up.”

Here’s part of Sanders’ acceptance speech:

"This is bigger than @jharreljerome and I." Congrats on winning Best Kiss ??

A post shared by MTV (@mtv) on

For a category that has in previous years gone to Twilight lip locks between Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson four years in a row (2009-2012), seeing two young men of color proudly accepting the prize was a wonderful change — and well deserved.

Related: Beyond Moonlight: 5 Black LGBTQ films that blazed the trail

If you need a refresher on how well-deserved it really was, check out the moving scene below:


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