Best Actor Oscar 2020 winner Joaquin Phoenix speaks about 'injustices of the world' in speech

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Feb 10, 2020, 02:27 PM IST


Story highlights

Joaquin Phoenix picked up Best Actor Oscar for his role in the film 'Joker'. 

We saw it coming. Joaquin Phoenix took home Best Actor Oscar for his role in the film ‘Joker’ as he played a dark character who is tormented by the world and ultimately takes revenge for it all in the film that was one of the most-talked about movies of the year. 

Joaquin’s win this Oscar was one of the biggest for ‘Joker’ as the film did not take home any other top prize with ‘Parasite’ sweeping the awards with Best Film, Best International Film, Best Director, and Original Screenplay. See full list of winners here

As Joaquin went to pick up his award, he got a standing ovation from the attendees for his phenomenal job as the leading star of a controversial film, that was liked by some and hated by some. In Pictures: Oscars 2020 red carpet: Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Billy Porter pump up the fashion

In his acceptance speech, Joaquin said, “I’m full of so much gratitude now. I do not feel elevated above any of my fellow nominees or anyone in this room, because we share the same love – that’s the love of film. And this form of expression has given me the most extraordinary life. I don’t know where I’d be without it. But I think the greatest gift that it’s given me, and many people in [this industry] is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless. I’ve been thinking about some of the distressing issues that we’ve been facing collectively.”

The star actor laid out issues and said, “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 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, one species, has the right to dominate, use and control another with impunity.

He continued, “I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. Many of us are guilty of an egocentric world view, and we believe 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 steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakeable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal. We fear the idea of personal change, because we think we need to sacrifice something; to give something up. But human beings at our best are so creative and inventive, and we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and the environment.”

Watch it here:


“I have been a scoundrel all my life, I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and I’m grateful that so many of you in this room have given me a second chance. I think that’s when we’re at our best: when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for our past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow. When we educate each other; when we guide each other to redemption.

When he was 17, my brother [River] wrote this lyric. He said: “run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.”

Joaquin also raised a hand during the speech when people started clapping, signalling for them to not applaud him as he had a long speech to give. 

For all those who missed out on what went down the 92nd Oscars, here are the highlights of Oscars 2020.