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Joaquin Phoenix uses Oscars acceptance speech to slam dairy industry
10 February 2020, 08:39
Joaquin Phoenix used his acceptance speech at the Oscars to slam the diary industry and champion a string of progressive causes.
The 45-year-old won Best Actor at the Academy Awards for his portrayal of a mentally ill loner in supervillain origins story Joker.
His win had been long-expected and few will have been surprised to hear Olivia Colman read out his name.
There was hardly a flicker of emotion on Phoenix's face when he was called and he retained a sombre air as he took to the stage.
During his speech, he rallied against injustice - listing gender, race, sexuality and animal and indigenous rights as being of particular importance.
"I think that we've become very disconnected from the natural world," Phoenix, who is a vegan, said.
"And many of us, what we're guilty of is an egocentric worldview, the belief 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 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."
Phoenix admitted to having been a "scoundrel" in his life, saying he was "selfish... cruel" and hard to work with, and thanked the audience for giving him a second chance.
He added: "And I think 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."
Phoenix ended his speech by quoting his late brother, the actor River Phoenix, saying: "When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric, he said: run to the rescue with love and peace will follow. Thank you."
Earlier, Phoenix paid tribute to his fellow nominees - Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver, Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce - saying they "share the same love, the love of film" and acting had given him "the most extraordinary life".
Phoenix, who was nominated for four Oscars, said the greatest gift his profession had given him was "the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless".
Following the trend from his acceptance speeches throughout awards season, he struck a serious tone and said he had been thinking about the "distressing issues that we face collectively".
Phoenix persuaded the Golden Globes to go meat-free and attended a protest hours before the Baftas demanding animal equality.
Also among the winners at the 92nd Academy Awards was Bong Joon-ho, who took home Best Director for his film Parasite, which also became the first non-English language film to walk away with the award for Best Picture.
Find the full list of winners below
Best picture - Parasite
Actor in a leading role - Joaquin Phoenix for Joker
Actress in a leading role - Renee Zellweger for Judy
Best supporting actor - Brad Pitt for Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood
Best supporting actress - Laura Dern for Marriage Story
Directing - Bong Joon-ho for Parasite
Original screenplay - Parasite (Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won)
Adapted screenplay - Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi)
International feature film - Parasite
Achievement in cinematography - 1917 (Roger Deakins)
Achievement in film editing - Ford v Ferrari (Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland)
Best animated feature film - Toy Story 4
Best animated short film - Hair Love
Best live action short film - The Neighbours' Window
Achievement in production design - Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood (Production design: Barbara Ling; Set decoration: Nancy Haigh)
Achievement in costume design - Little Women (Jacqueline Durran)
Best documentary feature - American Factory
Best documentary short subject - Learning To Skateboard In A Warzone (If You're A Girl)
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song) - (I'm Gonna) Love Me Again from Rocketman (Music by Elton John, lyrics by Bernie Taupin)
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score) - Joker (Hildur Guonadottir)
Achievement in sound editing - Ford v Ferrari (Donald Sylvester)
Achievement in sound mixing - 1917 (Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson)
Achievement in visual effects - 1917 (Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy)
Achievement in make-up and hairstyling - Bombshell (Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker)