While accepting the Oscar for Best
Activist Actor for his role in the billion-dollar psychological comic book thriller Joker, actor Joaquin Phoenix turned the Oscars stage into his soapbox, firing off a three-minute tirade about every victim group on earth.
“Whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against the belief, one nation, one race, one gender or one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity,” he said. “I think that we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world and many of us, what we’re guilty of is an egocentric world view, the belief that we’re the center of the universe.”
“I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. … We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and then we take her baby. … Then we take her milk and put it in our coffee and our cereal,” Phoenix said. “I think we fear the idea of personal change, because we think we have to sacrifice something, to give something up. But human beings at our best are so inventive and creative and ingenious, I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.”
Joaquin Phoenix: "That's when we're at our best—when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption." https://t.co/8kz7m5vtnF #Oscars pic.twitter.com/z9bymMr5bR
— ABC News (@ABC) February 10, 2020
It was just a week ago that Phoenix took the stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London and accused BAFTA voters of perpetuating “systemic racism” and sending a message to minorities that they’re “not welcome here.”
“I feel very honored and privileged to be here tonight. BAFTA has always been very supportive of my career and I’m deeply appreciative. But I have to say I also feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have that same privilege,” Phoenix said.
“I think we send a very clear message to people of color that you’re not welcome here. I think that’s the message we’re sending to people that have contributed so much to our medium and our industry and in ways that we benefit from.”
And last month the actor shamed celebrities for their climate change hypocrisy in a profanity-laced acceptance speech at the Golden Globes.
“It’s really nice that so many people have come up and sent their well wishes to Australia,” Phoenix said. “But we have to do more than that. It’s such a beautiful gesture. I’ve not always been a virtuous man … I hope together we can be unified and make some changes.”
“It’s great to vote, but sometimes we have to take that responsibility on ourselves and make changes and sacrifices in our own lives and I hope that we can do that,” he continued. “We don’t have to take private jets from Palm Springs to the awards, please. I’ll try to do better and I hope you will too.”
Last week, Phoenix’s name surfaced in a report from Vulture noting how Hollywood stars are increasingly relying on speechwriting agencies, some of them run by partisan operatives who previously worked for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, to help them craft their acceptance speeches.