Using their fame to tell the world an important message. Quite some famous actors and actresses are doing it.
Leonardo DiCaprio, who is also known as an environmentalist, used his moment when he received an Oscar for Best Actor in 2016 to say climate change is happening now.
Angelina Jolie, who defends human rights and women’s rights and is also a special envoy to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. She has been on many field trips to conflict areas where she spoke with refugees.
Emma Watson, who speaks up for women’s rights, gender equality and feminism.
Richard Gere, also well known for his political activism, especially for his human rights advocacy in Tibet.
Ashley Judd, passionate defender of gender equality and reproductive health rights. Judd was one of the actresses who was sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein, a huge Hollywood film producer, and shared her story with the world. She gives speeches about gender equality and abuse.
And there’s Joaquin Phoenix, the actor with the intense looks. Phoenix is also known as an animal right’s activist and a convinced vegan. He narrated documentaries about animal exploitation that matter, Earthlings, Unity and Dominion. Also, he was the executive-producer of the gripping documentary What the Health. Have you already seen them?
His profound acceptance speech last monday when he received the coveted Oscar for Best Actor in “Joker” is everything.
As someone who supports ending the suffering and exploitation of animals for the sake of human consumption, these truthful words and the way he expresses them, so real and emotional, couldn’t be more spot on.
Bravo to this man!
Watch his speech here:
“I’m full of so much gratitude right now. I do not feel elevated above any of my fellow nominees, or anyone in this room, because we share the same love: The love of film. And this form of expression has given me the most extraordinary life. I don’t know what I’d be without it.
But I think the greatest gift that its given me and many of us in this room is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless. I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively and 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 and equality 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 world view: 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.
And I think we fear the idea of personal change, because we think 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 have been a scoundrel, 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 humanity.
I just – I want to — um – When he was 17, my brother (River Phoenix ✝) wrote this lyric: He said ‘Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.’ Thank you.”
~ Joaquin Phoenix.
May we all, deep down, feel the meaning of Joaquin’s words.