Joaquin Phoenix has went on a personal mission to spark change this awards season. On Sunday during the Oscars, he continued calling for social change, particularly equality.
Calls For Social Change
Phoenixc's performance in the titular role as "Joker" has reaped him heaps of praises. However, although he appreciates all the good words, Joaquin has had enough of all the pleasantries and wanted to make a change in the world through the platform he has earned.
In his acceptance speech in the recently concluded 92nd Academy Awards -- during which he won his first Oscars for best actor -- he called himself selfish, cruel and a scoundrel all in quick succession.
Instead of simply thanking everyone for helping him get to the top, Joaquin Phoenix used his voice on stage to call for social change.
He began his acceptance speech with the call to fight injustice in many forms. Interestingly, he used the dairy industry as an example to show the people's "egocentric worldview."
"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 -- against the belief that one nation, one race, one gender or one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity," he said.
"We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and when she gives birth, we steal her baby," Phoenix, who is a lifelong vegan, added in his speech. "And then we take her milk that's intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and cereal."
Phoenix ended his speech with an oddly hopeful note that people would take on the change by heart. He left everyone with positive advice from his late brother, "Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow."
The Mission Continues
Phoenix also had some controversial speeches during the Golden Globes. In his speech in the ceremony, he focused on appreciating performance activism and emphasized that action is always better than words.
Ricky Gervais pleaded with the actors during the Golden Globes to reserve their politics for other awards shows, but nobody listened. The least of all was Phoenix.
The Golden Globes also did their share in acknowledging Phoenix's call by serving plant-based meals at the menu that night. While the menu helped encourage the audience to recognize environmentalism, Phoenix said that people should take more action.
"It's time to take on responsibility on ourselves and the role we play in climate change. So instead of taking private jets to Palm Springs for the awards night and back, skip that and go for something sustainable in the long run," Phoenix said.
The Stella McCartney suit he was wearing that night was made from sustainable materials. He also vowed to use it at every award show he will attend to reduce waste.
On the other hand, at the British Academy Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs), Phoenix questioned the systematic racism in the industry. It is worth noting that the BAFTAs did not have any actors of color nominated for an award.
The "Joker" actor acknowledged the many ways he has benefited from the systemic racism that has plagued the entertainment industry, including film. He emphasized that it is the obligation of the people who have perpetrated and benefited from the oppression of people of color to dismantle the system and put up new ones that will promote inclusion.