The Golden Globes, Grammys, Critics' Choice Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, BAFTA Awards, Film Independent Spirit Awards, have all aired on our television screens within the last few weeks. These ceremonies are entertaining, glamorous, and a lot of Americans cannot help but tune in to see who's with who, who's wearing what, and who says what. What better way to wind down on January Sunday nights?
Some people take these awards really personally.
Hey, I get it. I was rooting for "Bombshell" and "Little Women" all the way and a little piece of me gets heated when none of my favorites make it to the stage. If you're invested and have a genuine interest in the entertainment industry, who can blame you? But sometimes it's not who wins and doesn't win that gets the internet going with memes and creative tweets, a lot of times it's what the winners say on stage that draws attention to them.
It's not all bad attention!
I understand the annoyance that is hearing celebrities use their (literal) platform at award shows to lecture their peers and those behind the screen about how we need to vote, protect animals, spread love, blah, blah, blah. Most of the time I agree with their opinions, but I just don't want to hear it while I'm trying to relax and distract myself from what's going on in the world.
I think this is what irks the public so much. As a country, over the years, we have glorified actors and public figures. We have given them all of our money, attention, and praise. As a society, we use the entertainment industry as a distraction from reality. When we watch award shows, television, go to the movies, even use social media platforms, we're not worrying about the world, we're distracting and disconnecting ourselves from it. It's easy to criticize actors for using their acceptance speeches as an opportunity to push their personal political agenda and utopian society aspirations. How dare they, right?
But, there's one speech you may want to listen to.
At the 2020 Oscars, when accepting his award for Actor in a Leading Role for 'Joker,' Joaquin Phoenix called for unity saying "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, use, and exploit another with impunity." This is important.
This is the kind of diction and poise celebrities should use when trying to say something intelligent and impactful. Joaquin opened his acceptance by expressing his gratitude for finding himself in a career that allows him to "use [my] voice for the voiceless." That's exactly what celebrities should do and why not all their speeches should be thought less-of, even if they're not as well-spoken as Joaquin's. We shouldn't be isolating ourselves in the fantasy world that is Hollywood when our planet and society is crumbling beneath us. At least celebrities are trying to wake the blind public up, the public that will only listen to celebrities and dismisses/ doesn't care about the realities of humankind.