Joker actor Joaquin Phoenix accepted the Best Actor award at the Oscars for his role in Joker in a rambling speech that referenced cow insemination and condemned cancel culture.
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
Phoenix began his speech saying, “I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues we are facing collectively and I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes. But for me I see commonality.”
He continued, “I think whether we are talking about gender inequality, or racism, or queer rights, or indigenous rights, or animal rights, we are talking about the fight against injustice. We are talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one race, one gender, or one species has the right to dominate to control and use another with impunity.”
The Joker actor added, “I think that we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. And many of us what we are guilty of is an egocentric world view, the belief that we are the center of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources.”
Phoenix then discussed artificially inseminating a cow, “We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth we steal her baby even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. And then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.”
He continued, “And I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something to give something up. But human beings at our best are so inventive, and creative, and ingenious. And 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 the environment.”
Phoenix then admitted he was no saint, “Now, I have been a scoundrel in my life. I have been selfish. I have been cruel at times, hard to work with, and ungrateful. But so many of you in this room have given me a second chance.”
He then stated that humanity needs to focus on giving people second chances rather than canceling people for their mistakes, “And I think that’s when we’re at our best, when we support each, not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate to each other, when we guide each other to redemption. That is the best of humanity.”
Phoenix then concluded, “When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric, he said, ‘Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.’ Thank you.”
Joaquin Phoenix previously used his Best Actor at the BAFTA Awards to accuse the ceremony of racism saying, “I think that we send a very clear message to people of color that you’re not welcome here. I think that’s the message that we are sending to people that have contributed so much to our medium and our industry, and in ways that we benefit from.”
He added, “I don’t think anybody wants a handout or preferential treatment, although that’s what we give ourselves every year. People just want to be acknowledged, appreciated and respected for their work. This is not a self-righteous condemnation because I’m ashamed to say I’m part of the problem. I have not done everything in my power to ensure the sets I work on are inclusive.”
At the Golden Globes, Phoenix mocked the idea of award shows saying, “We all know there is no f****** best actor. It’s like this thing that is created to sell advertisements for the TV show.”
He added, “We don’t have to take private jets to Palm Springs for the Awards sometimes or back. Please. I will try to do better and I hope you will too.”
What do you make of Phoenix’s Oscars speech?