He held the Oscar in his hand, but that seemed an afterthought. His voice was firm and sure, in contrast to his expressions and gestures, which fluctuated between those of a shy man and that of one completely overcome with emotion. Joaquin Phoenix’s speech lasted barely three minutes.
However, those three minutes were enough to reach people around the world, make headlines and touch the hearts of millions.
We don’t know if the effect of his message will last as long as most viral news. In other words, a snippet that is shared by virtually everyone and then quickly forgotten. Interestingly, he had already touched on some of the same thoughts during the Golden Globes.
With honesty and candor, he made an emphatic but personal invitation to create change. He calls for changes based on environmental protection and veganism to create a more sustainable and fair world.
While his acknowledgments at previous awards also addressed these issues, they were not the headliner. At the 2020 Oscars, however, his convictions were clear.
His speech was very different from that of the rest of the winners. It wasn’t political. Instead, his words were imbued with the magic of emotion, the power of humility, and the sensitivity of one seeking to raise awareness.
The Oscar acceptance speech everyone should listen to
When movie stars support a cause, it’s always good to hear and always makes the news. For example, in recent years, the movement for women’s rights and gender equality has been present in almost every ceremony that takes place. You can see we are making progress and the changes are as positive as they are hopeful.
In addition, in this context of social activism, it is impossible not to be reminded of Marlon Brando and the day he insulted the Academy by refusing his Oscar.
In his stead, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather to speak out against the unjust treatment of Native Americans. It was a historic moment, not only because it is such a renowned event, but also because of the journalists who found out what Marlon Brando disapproved of.
It’s impossible to know if Joaquin Phoenix’s speech will have the same impact. We don’t know if after listening to his message someone will change the way they eat or take action to save the environment.
Either way, it is clear that his message will remain in the hearts and minds of many people for at least a few days. Let’s take a closer look at what he said.
Gratitude and responsibility in Joaquin Phoenix’s speech
Joaquin Phoenix’s speech began as a simple expression of gratitude. He said he didn’t feel he was superior to the performers who were there with him in the theater. Ultimately, everyone shares the same passion and that passion is what keeps them going.
His role as Joker is arguably the pinnacle of a glittering career. His embodiment of Batman’s classic enemy has taken him to another level altogether. This rendition was genius. Never before has a cartoon character seemed so human. For Phoenix, more than anything else, his success is an opportunity to give a voice to the voiceless.
We have created a selfish world accustomed to exploiting others
“No country or people has the right to exploit others,” said Phoenix. But we do it anyway. Some obvious examples are gender discrimination, racism, attacks on the LGBTQ community, exploitation of animals and the environment.
We are a self-centered society that turns a blind eye to injustice. Not only do we refuse to see it or neglect it, but we reinforce it almost unconsciously on a daily basis.
Environmentalism, Veganism and Humanity
“I think we have become very disconnected from the natural world… We go into the natural world and plunder its resources.” One of the most well-known aspects of Joaquin’s personality is his staunch defense of the environment and veganism.
His late brother, River Phoenix, shared this belief and lifestyle. He was known for his animal rights activism and for his work with PETA.
Joaquin Phoenix’s speech speaks through people’s love for animals. He wants you to connect with their suffering and remind you what defines people: love and creativity. If we can create new, more sustainable systems that respect animals and the environment, everyone wins.
Joaquin Phoenix’s speech and the memory of his brother
As you probably know, River Phoenix was Joaquin’s older brother. He was a brilliant actor who was recognized and praised by the film world. Sadly, he died of an overdose on October 23, 1993 at the age of 23. In his Oscar speech, it was practically inevitable that Joaquin would mention his older brother.
What did his brother call, in just one sentence. Words that coincided with his message, with his powerful speech. He said, “Run with love to salvation and peace will follow.”
He leaves us with the idea, the essence, of that love that acts as a powerful engine for people. It is able to create change and achieve a more sustainable world where all its inhabitants are respected. Let’s hope Joaquin Phoenix’s speech isn’t soon forgotten.