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Joaquin Phoenix Addresses Animal Rights, Racism in Oscar Speech

Joaquin won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

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Celebrities
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Joaquin Phoenix won his first Oscar at the 92nd Academy Awards, for his role in and as Todd Phillips’ Joker. The actor won the top acting awards this year, at BAFTAs, Golden Globe Awards and Screen Actors’ Guild Awards. In an impactful acceptance speech for his Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar, Phoenix addressed animal rights, gender inequality, racism amongst other issues.

He began with acknowledging his co-nominees in the category and said, “I’m full of so much gratitude now. I do not feel elevated above any of my fellow nominees or anyone in this room, because we share the same love – that’s the love of film.”

Concluding the speech, an emotional Joaquin recited a line from his late brother’s poem, and said, “When he was 17, my brother [River] wrote this lyric. He said: “run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.”

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Here’s the complete acceptance speech by Joaquin Phoenix:

“I’m full of so much gratitude now. I do not feel elevated above any of my fellow nominees or anyone in this room, because we share the same love – that’s the love of film. And this form of expression has given me the most extraordinary life. I don’t know where I’d be without it.

But I think the greatest gift that it’s given me, and many people in [this industry] is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless. I’ve been thinking about some of the distressing issues that we’ve been facing collectively.

“I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes. But for me, I see commonality. I think, 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 injustice.”
Joaquin Phoenix

We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, one species, has the right to dominate, use and control another with impunity.

I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. Many of us are guilty of an egocentric world view, and we believe that we’re the centre of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakeable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.

We fear the idea of personal change, because we think we need to sacrifice something; to give something up. But human beings at our best are so creative and inventive, and we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and the environment.

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“I have been a scoundrel all my life, I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and I’m grateful that so many of you in this room have given me a second chance. I think that’s when we’re at our best: when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for our past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow. When we educate each other; when we guide each other to redemption.”
Joaquin Phoenix

When he was 17, my brother [River] wrote this lyric. He said: “run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.”

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