If you watched the 2014 Academy Awards, you might not remember exactly which film won in each category, but you probably do remember Lupita Nyongo standing, tears in her eyes, clutching the 13 ½ inch tall, 24-carat, gold-plated bronze statuette in her fist, staring at it admiringly and announcing that she hopes it can remind me and every little child that no matter where youre from, your dreams are valid.
Similarly, perhaps you didnt get around to watching Richard Linklaters Boyhood, despite all your best intentions, but you likely will have watched Patricia Arquette calling for wage equality once and for all while accepting the award for best supporting actress in 2015.
Often just as captivating as the films themselves sometimes even more so acceptance speeches have become the ultimate soapbox moment for actors, and news stories in their own right. Last year, almost 30m people tuned in to watch the Academy Awards. With a platform like that, actors have the chance to have their voices heard, as opposed to speaking lines written for them into screenplays and increasingly, many are happy to take full advantage of opportunity.
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Heres the good part: From systemic sexism and racism to the rights of indigenous Americans and the climate crisis, celebrities have long used the acceptance speech as a chance to align themselves with a movement that matters to them. And this year was no different. Following a virtually laughable paucity of female nominees in the Golden Globes (despite several worthy contenders in the top categories) and all-white listings in the top BAFTA categories, awards season this year has been dominated by talk of when the industry will catch up with the world it professes to represent.
When South Korean director Bong Joon Hos Parasite was announced as the winner of the best film gong this year, many were excited that finally, one of this seasons awards ceremonies and the most important one, too was recognising art, not prioritising privilege.
One actor in particular has been vocal about the industrys shortcomings. Joaquin Phoenix used his BAFTA acceptance speech to speak about systemic racism, admitting that he has not done everything in my power to ensure that the sets I was on are inclusive. Reaction to his speech was predominantly positive, with Harriet star Cynthia Ervio the only black actor who was nominated across all acting categories in the 2020 Academy Awards saying how pleased she was that Phoenix used his platform to raise up people of colour, because, people like me, the black girls of the world, the black men of the world, are saying it consistently, but were not always being heard.
While accepting his award for best actor at the Oscars last night, Phoenix continued his campaign of equality but this time throwing a few other causes into the mix.
I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes, Phoenix said. But for me, I see commonality. I think, whether were talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, were talking about the fight against injustice.
Without expanding on his apparent box-ticking of racism or womens rights, appearing just to drop those in as a precursor to his main gripe, Phoenix then launched into a diatribe against the dairy industry. 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 thats intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal, he said.
It is a galling juxtaposition. Perhaps if hed chosen just this one cause to champion, instead of lumping everything together, it wouldnt have stung quite as much as it did. But to speak of the injustices of racism, of the experiences of people of colour whose history is steeped in slavery, then to discuss women, whose rights to bodily autonomy are still being challenged by anti-abortion laws across the States, and to mention queer rights, when members of the gay community have been beaten, criminalised and banned from marrying their partners to utter these causes in the same breath as milking cows really only highlights Phoenixs already startlingly obvious white male privilege.
To add insult to injury, Phoenix ended his speech by quoting a song lyric written by his brother, River: Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow. While obviously personally meaningful (Phoenixs voice cracked as he spoke his late brothers words), the subject matter turned the moment into an example of a white saviour complex that was almost unbearable to watch.
All this, of course, was said during an acceptance speech for a film that was celebrated but also widely condemned as problematic. Joker sees a mentally ill man, unable to access his medication and left behind by the state, go on a furious killing spree. Comparisons to how white and brown perpetrators of such crimes are treated differently by both law enforcement and the media, discussions of toxic masculinity and concerns about clichéd mental health portrayals were among the many criticisms the film faced online.  
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Bong Joon Ho, right, reacts as he is presented with the award for best picture for “Parasite” from presenter Jane Fonda at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Looking on from left are Kang-Ho Song and Kwak Sin Ae
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Renee Zellweger accepts the Oscar for Best Actress for “Judy” at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Best Feature Documentary winners (L-R) Lindsay Utz, Julia Reichert, Julie Parker Benello, and Steven Bognar walk backstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Joaquin Phoenix wins the Oscar for Best Actor in “Joker” at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Renee Zelllweger accepts the Oscar for Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for ‘Judy’ during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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Mark Taylor (C-L) and British sound engineer Stuart Wilson (C-R) pose in the press room with Salma Hayeck and Oscar Isaac with the Oscar for Best Sound Mixing for ‘1917’ during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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Shia LaBeouf (R) and Zack Gottsagen arrives for the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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James Corden and Rebel Wilson stand backstage in cat costumes during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California
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Kwak Sin Ae and Bong Joon-ho win the Oscar for Best Picture for “Parasite” at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020.
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Bong Joon Ho walks offstage with Spike Lee after winning the Oscar for Best Director for “Parasite” at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Kobe Bryant’s name is displayed during the In Memoriam Oscars tribute at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020.
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Bong Joon Ho, left, is congratulated by Brad Pitt before going on stage to accept the award for best director for “Parasite” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Karen Rupert Toliver walks backstage with the award for Animated Short Film backstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson with the Best Sound Mixing Oscar for 1917 in the press room at the 92nd Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 9, 2020. See PA story SHOWBIZ Oscars
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Olivia Colman presents the award for best performance by an actor in a leading role at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Carol Dysinger (L) and Elena Andreicheva pose in the press room with Mark Ruffalo with the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject for ‘âLearning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)’ during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories.
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Brie Larson walking barefoot at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Bong Joon-ho talks to Sam Mendes after winning the Oscar for Best Director for “Parasite” at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Bong Joon Ho accpets his Oscar for Achievement in Directing for ‘Parasite’ during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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US singer-songwriter Billie Eilish performs onstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Icelandic composer Hildur Gudnadottir poses in the press room with the Oscar for Best Original Score for “Joker” during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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British singer-songwriter Elton John (L) and British lyricist Bernie Taupin pose in the press room with the Oscar for Best Original Song for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again, ‘Rocketman'” during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Joaquin Phoenix, from left, hugs Shia LaBeouf in the audience, as Zack Gottsagen looks on, at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig in Valentino present the Oscar for Best Production Design at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Regina King walks backstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Brie Larson and Elijah Allan-Blitz walk on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Mahershala Ali and Amatus Sami-Karim arrive on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Scarlett Johansson, left, congratulates Laura Dern, winner of the award for best performance by an actress in a supporting role for “Marriage Story” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020
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Marshall Curry, winner of the award for best live action short film for “The Neighbors’ Window”, poses in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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People take photos as VIP guests arrive for the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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US actress Laura Dern (R) poses next to US actor Mahershala Ali with the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “Marriage Story” in the press room during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Lin-Manuel Miranda during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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US-Guatemalan actor Oscar Isaac (L) and US-Mexican actress Salma Hayek speak onstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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US actress Laura Dern poses with the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “Marriage Story” in the press room during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California
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Natalie Portman and Timothee Chalamet present Taika Waititi with his Best Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit in the press room at the 92nd Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles
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Oscars statuettes are on display backstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California
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Aurora smiles backstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Eminem performs during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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British costume designer Jacqueline Durran poses in the press room with the Oscar for Best Costume Design for “Little Women” during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Kristen Wiig arrives for the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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Joaquin Phoenix, left, and Rooney Mara arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Keanu Reeves (R) and his mother Patricia Taylor arrive for the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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Cynthia Erivo in Versace poses on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Janelle Monaeand Billy Porter performs during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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US actress Scarlett Johansson arrives with husband Colin Jost for the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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A general view of the Oscars show during the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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US actors Steve Martin and Chris Rock (R) speak onstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Margot Robbie talks with Leonardo DiCaprio on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9,
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Regina King, left, presents Brad Pitt with the award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Brad Pitt accepts the award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Florence Pugh arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Olivia Colman arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Jonathan Pryce arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angele
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The cast of “Parasite” poses on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
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Pedro Almodovar poses on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S
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Australian actress Rebel Wilson arrives for the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California
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Billie Eilish (C) and Finneas O’Connell (L) pose with Billy Porter during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.,
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Janelle Monae arrives for the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories.
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British actor Archie Yates and British actor Roman Griffin Davis from “Jojo Rabbit” arrive for the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020.
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Sandra Oh poses on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles,
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Antonio Banderas arrives for the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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Kaitlin Dever, Beanie Feldstein and Roman Griffin Davis pose for a selfie on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles
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Billie Eilish in Chanel during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S
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Mindy Kaling arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Saoirse Ronan arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Bong Joon Ho, right, reacts as he is presented with the award for best picture for “Parasite” from presenter Jane Fonda at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Looking on from left are Kang-Ho Song and Kwak Sin Ae
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Renee Zellweger accepts the Oscar for Best Actress for “Judy” at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Best Feature Documentary winners (L-R) Lindsay Utz, Julia Reichert, Julie Parker Benello, and Steven Bognar walk backstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Joaquin Phoenix wins the Oscar for Best Actor in “Joker” at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Renee Zelllweger accepts the Oscar for Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for ‘Judy’ during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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Mark Taylor (C-L) and British sound engineer Stuart Wilson (C-R) pose in the press room with Salma Hayeck and Oscar Isaac with the Oscar for Best Sound Mixing for ‘1917’ during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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Shia LaBeouf (R) and Zack Gottsagen arrives for the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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James Corden and Rebel Wilson stand backstage in cat costumes during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California
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Kwak Sin Ae and Bong Joon-ho win the Oscar for Best Picture for “Parasite” at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020.
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Bong Joon Ho walks offstage with Spike Lee after winning the Oscar for Best Director for “Parasite” at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Kobe Bryant’s name is displayed during the In Memoriam Oscars tribute at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020.
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Bong Joon Ho, left, is congratulated by Brad Pitt before going on stage to accept the award for best director for “Parasite” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Karen Rupert Toliver walks backstage with the award for Animated Short Film backstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson with the Best Sound Mixing Oscar for 1917 in the press room at the 92nd Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 9, 2020. See PA story SHOWBIZ Oscars
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Olivia Colman presents the award for best performance by an actor in a leading role at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Carol Dysinger (L) and Elena Andreicheva pose in the press room with Mark Ruffalo with the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject for ‘âLearning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)’ during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories.
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Brie Larson walking barefoot at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Bong Joon-ho talks to Sam Mendes after winning the Oscar for Best Director for “Parasite” at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Bong Joon Ho accpets his Oscar for Achievement in Directing for ‘Parasite’ during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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US singer-songwriter Billie Eilish performs onstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Icelandic composer Hildur Gudnadottir poses in the press room with the Oscar for Best Original Score for “Joker” during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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British singer-songwriter Elton John (L) and British lyricist Bernie Taupin pose in the press room with the Oscar for Best Original Song for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again, ‘Rocketman'” during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Joaquin Phoenix, from left, hugs Shia LaBeouf in the audience, as Zack Gottsagen looks on, at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig in Valentino present the Oscar for Best Production Design at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Regina King walks backstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Brie Larson and Elijah Allan-Blitz walk on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Mahershala Ali and Amatus Sami-Karim arrive on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Scarlett Johansson, left, congratulates Laura Dern, winner of the award for best performance by an actress in a supporting role for “Marriage Story” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020
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Marshall Curry, winner of the award for best live action short film for “The Neighbors’ Window”, poses in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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People take photos as VIP guests arrive for the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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US actress Laura Dern (R) poses next to US actor Mahershala Ali with the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “Marriage Story” in the press room during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Lin-Manuel Miranda during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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US-Guatemalan actor Oscar Isaac (L) and US-Mexican actress Salma Hayek speak onstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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US actress Laura Dern poses with the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “Marriage Story” in the press room during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California
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Natalie Portman and Timothee Chalamet present Taika Waititi with his Best Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit in the press room at the 92nd Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles
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Oscars statuettes are on display backstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California
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Aurora smiles backstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Eminem performs during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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British costume designer Jacqueline Durran poses in the press room with the Oscar for Best Costume Design for “Little Women” during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Kristen Wiig arrives for the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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Joaquin Phoenix, left, and Rooney Mara arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Keanu Reeves (R) and his mother Patricia Taylor arrive for the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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Cynthia Erivo in Versace poses on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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Janelle Monaeand Billy Porter performs during the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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US actress Scarlett Johansson arrives with husband Colin Jost for the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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A general view of the Oscars show during the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020
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US actors Steve Martin and Chris Rock (R) speak onstage during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020
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Margot Robbie talks with Leonardo DiCaprio on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9,
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Regina King, left, presents Brad Pitt with the award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Brad Pitt accepts the award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Florence Pugh arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Olivia Colman arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Jonathan Pryce arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angele
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The cast of “Parasite” poses on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
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Pedro Almodovar poses on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S
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Australian actress Rebel Wilson arrives for the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California
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Billie Eilish (C) and Finneas O’Connell (L) pose with Billy Porter during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.,
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Janelle Monae arrives for the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories.
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British actor Archie Yates and British actor Roman Griffin Davis from “Jojo Rabbit” arrive for the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020.
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Sandra Oh poses on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles,
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Antonio Banderas arrives for the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 09 February 2020. The Oscars are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in filmmaking in 24 categories
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Kaitlin Dever, Beanie Feldstein and Roman Griffin Davis pose for a selfie on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles
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Billie Eilish in Chanel during the Oscars arrivals at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S
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Mindy Kaling arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
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Saoirse Ronan arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
When Frances McDormand used her acceptance speech for best actress in 2018 for her performance in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri to take a political stand, she passionately and furiously promised to enforce the use of inclusion riders when she accepted roles a move that will make a tangible difference to the industry when she works. What, exactly, is Phoenix promising beyond making himself the poster boy for his male guilt?
It is a risk for a celebrity to use their platform to make a political point. Taylor Swifts Netflix documentary proves this the singer was discouraged from aligning herself from any movement as her management believed it could compromise her success. But Phoenix is far past that. This is a man with a career that spans countless critically acclaimed roles who has just swept the floor at awards season. He could have afforded to push the boat out a little.
The sentiment at the heart of Phoenixs speech matters. People in positions of power have the privilege and the platform to speak out for oppressed communities and they should do so. But heres a tip for any straight white men wanting to stand with the gay community, women and people of colour: Dont jump to compare marginalised groups to bovine animals. It sends rather the wrong message.