Joaquin Phoenix’s pile of acting awards for Todd Phillips’ Joker now includes an Oscar. Phoenix took home the statue for Best Actor in a Leading Role on Sunday at the 92nd Academy Awards.
Now experienced at accepting awards for his Joker performance, Phoenix once again took the stage to speak broadly about injustice in the world.
“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,” Phoenix said. “I don’t know what I’d be without it. But I think the greatest gift that it’s given me and many of us in this room is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless.”
“At times we feel or we’re made to feel that we champion different causes, but for me I see commonality,” Phoenix continued. “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.”
Phoenix, who used his BAFTA speech to deliver an excoriating message to Hollywood about how it treats people of color, this time went on to say that human beings “plunder” the natural world. He concluded by alluding to cancel culture and the power of redemption — not mentioning the title character of Joker explicitly.
“I’ve been selfish, i’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and i’m so grateful that so many of you in this room have given me a second chance,” he said. “I think that that’s when we are at our best…when we guide each other toward redemption. That is the best of humanity.”