Joaquin Phoenix Uses His Oscar Speech To Give ‘Voice To The Voiceless’

by Conscious Reminder

Hollywood is far, far away from perfect. So many scandals have swept the film industry and so many of the people working in this industry have been acting out of character that the world is taken aback.

From sexual harassment to racism and gender inequality – these have become everyday topics amongst filmmakers and having been affected by them, Hollywood people are now trying to make a change and raise consciousness within the circle of the Industry, but also among the broader public.

One such attempt took place last night, at the Oscars when the magnificent Joaquin Phoenix was awarded for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for portraying the infamous Joker.

Evidently emotional, he received the Oscar that followed after a fruitful stream of awards including wins at the BAFTAs, Golden Globes and other film ceremonies.

Phoenix took the opportunity and used his acceptance speech to give ‘voice to the voiceless’ and addressed the injustice that many are facing. His words took the internet by storm and touched the hearts of many in such a short time.

Phoenix received a standing ovation from the audience and even teared up toward the end when he spoke about a lyric his brother wrote.

Read the full transcript below.

[We have to] continue to use our voice for the voiceless. I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively. I think at times we feel or were 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. We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender or one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity.

I think that we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world, and many of us, what we’re guilty of is an egocentric worldview — the belief that we’re the center 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. T

hen, we take her milk, that’s intended for her calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal, 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 to the environment.

Now, I have been a scoundrel in my life. I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with and ungrateful, but so many of you in this room have given me a second chance.

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. That is the best of community.

When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric. It said, ‘Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow.'”

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