‘Citizenfour’ Director Thanks Whistleblowers, Journalists for ‘Exposing Truth’ During Oscars Acceptance

Academy Awards host Neil Patrick Harris joked that Edward Snowden “could not be here tonight for some treason”

Getty Images

“Citizenfour” director Laura Poitras thanked whistleblowers and journalists who are “exposing truth” during her acceptance speech after winning the Academy Award for Best Documentary, Feature on Sunday.

“Disclosures that Edward Snowden reveals don’t only expose a threat to our privacy, but to our democracy itself. When the most important decisions being made that affect all of us are being made in secrecy, we lose our ability to check the powers in control,” Poitras said with Glenn Greenwald at her side. “Thank you to Edward Snowden for his courage, and for the many other whistleblowers. I share this with Glenn Greenwald and the other journalists who are exposing truth. Thank you.”

Poitras shares the Oscar with Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky, who produced the documentary that beat out “Finding Vivian Maier,” “Last Days of Vietnam,” “Virunga” and “The Salt of the Earth.”

The TWC Radius release was no surprise victor, however. In the awards race leading up the 87th Oscars, “Citizenfour” won every single documentary award.

Poitras was filming the documentary while Greenwald was first meeting with Snowden to decide when and how they would release top-secret documents that revealed covert surveillance programs run by the NSA.

The U.S. Department of Justice charged Snowden with two counts of violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property in 2013. He is currently living in Russia, where he was granted temporary asylum last year.

“The subject of ‘Citizenfour,’ Edward Snowden, could not be here tonight for some treason,” Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris joked after Poitras’ speech.