Michael Moore Speaks About His Oscar Acceptance Speech

AP Wire Service

ROCHESTER, New York – Filmmaker Michael Moore said he almost decided not to turn his Oscar acceptance speech into a political statement.

“The thought crossed my mind that the easy way … would be to soak up the love,” Moore told about 1,000 students at the University of Rochester Wednesday.

The documentary maker won his first Oscar Sunday for “Bowling for Columbine,” an exploration of gun violence in America. His acceptance speech included fiery criticism of President George W. Bush and the U.S.-led war on Iraq.

“I would have ridden the high right out of the building to the Vanity Fair party,” he said. “The other voice (in my head) says, `No, you have a responsibility. People are dying, and they’re dying in your name.'”

Moore was applauded when he won, and speech first drew cheers at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. But a cacophony of boos followed as Moore shouted, “We are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush. Shame on you!”

Outside the university auditorium Wednesday, some protested the war in Iraq, while others protested Moore. One sign read: “Shame on you Moore.”