Oscar winners and presenters at the Academy Awards are famous for using the platform to preach politics in grandiose speeches that have pushed left-wing narratives and promoted Democratic Party positions.
The 93rd Academy Awards, slated for Sunday, is likely to be no exception. TV ratings for the telecast have hit history lows. Still, sanctimonious speeches have been commonplace throughout the years — from global warming activist Leonardo DiCaprio launching into a climate-charged rant in 2016 to Kumail Nanjiani and Lupita Nyong’o giving a shout out to “Dreamers” in 2018.
Here is a look back at some of the most woke rants at the Oscars in recent years.
1. Joaquin Phoenix, 2020
Last year, while accepting the Best Actor award for his role in Joker, Joaquin Phoenix went on a three-minute rant about gender inequality, racism, queer rights, and animal rights. “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,” he said.
“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 continued. “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.”
2. Brad Pitt, 2020
Actor Brad Pitt launched into a politically charged rant while accepting his Supporting Actor award for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, ripping the Senate impeachment trial over John Bolton not being called as a witness.
“They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week,” he said. “I’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it. In the end, the adults do the right thing.”
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 10, 2020
3. Josh Gad, 2020
Actor-comedian Josh Gad used his platform last year to advance the left’s climate change narrative, bashing so-called “climate deniers” and America’s healthcare system while introducing his Frozen co-star Idina Menzel.
“Animated movies are loved everywhere. In fact, Frozen 2, or as climate change deniers call it, Not Frozen 2, has been dubbed in 45 different languages, which means I know have 45 blood rivals around the world,” Gad said.
“These dubbed versions provide kids and adults everywhere their own special connection to the story and its characters which means there are so many great versions of Elsa,” Gad continued. “For instance, Canadian Elsa is basically the same, but with health care.”
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) February 10, 2020
4. Brie Larson, Gal Gadot, and Sigourney Weaver, 2020:
During the 92nd Academy Awards, the three Hollywood A-list actresses, while introducing the awards for Best Score and Best Song, gave a nod to the modern-day feminist movement, declaring “all women are superheroes.”
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 10, 2020
5. Julia Reichert, 2020:
During her Best Documentary acceptance speech, Julia Reichert, a filmmaker for a President Barack Obama-produced documentary “quoted the famous rallying cries of the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and the Soviet Union during her acceptance speech,” Breitbart News detailed at the time.
“Working people have it harder and harder these days—and we believe that things will get better when workers of the world unite,” Reichert said:
The quote was also famously one of the official mottos of the Soviet Union before its fall. Communist regimes in the last century were responsible for the murder of more than 100 million people — including tens of millions murdered by the Soviet Union.
Julia Reichert of "American Factory": "Working people have it harder and harder these days—and we believe that things will get better when workers of the world unite." https://t.co/bffyIA57Vs #Oscars pic.twitter.com/iGXuSP7Ua4
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 10, 2020
6. Spike Lee, 2019:
Spike Lee, who accepted an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for his film, BlacKkKlansman, used the platform to discuss the legacy of slavery while calling on people to “mobilize” and be on the “right side of history” ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Pres. Trump slams Spike Lee, calling the director's speech at the #Oscars a "racist hit on your President."
— ABC News (@ABC) February 25, 2019
7. Guy Nattiv, 2019:
That year, the Israeli filmmaker Guy Nattiv, said that “bigotry” during the Holocaust is seen “everywhere” today, “in America” and “in Europe” while accepting his award for Best Live Action Short.
“My parents are Holocaust survivors. The bigotry that they experienced in the Holocaust, we see that everywhere today. In America, in Europe. This film is about… teaching your kids a better way,” Nattiv said.
8. Maya Rudolph, 2019:
The actress and comedian opted to open the show by taking a jab at former President Trump, informing the world that Mexico would not pay for the wall.
“There is no host tonight, there will not be a popular film category, and Mexico is not paying for the wall,” Rudolph said, prompting laughter and cheers.
“Just a quick update for everybody in case you’re confused, there is no host tonight, there won’t be a popular movie category and Mexico is not paying for the wall.” Well said, Maya Rudolph. #Oscars pic.twitter.com/ATDDu14teS
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) February 25, 2019
9. Kumail Nanjiani and Lupita Nyong’o, 2018:
Nanjiani and Nyong’o praised the illegal aliens shielded from deportation by former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“Like everyone in this room and everyone watching at home, we are Dreamers,” Nyong’o said. “We grew up dreaming of one day working in the movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood and dreams are the foundation of America.”
“To all the dreamers out there, we stand with you,” Nanjiani said.
10. Leonardo DiCaprio, 2016:
Upon accepting his first Oscar at the 88th Academy Awards, The Revenant star went on a rant about climate change — a notable devotion given his frequent use of private jets. DiCaprio was mocked the world over in 2016 when he flew thousands of miles via private jet to accept an environmental award.
“Climate change is real. It is happening right now,” DiCaprio said during his speech. “It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”
“We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people who will be most affected by this, for our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed,” he added.
11. Patricia Arquette, 2015
While accepting her Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in Boyhood, Patricia Arquette got political. Arquette said, “To my heroes, volunteers and experts who have helped me bring ecological sanitation to the developing world with Givelove.org.”
“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody’s equal rights. It is our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”
The 93rd Oscar Awards is slated for Sunday, April 25, on ABC.