Here's Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar acceptance speech after Joker star wins Best Actor

Monday, 10th February 2020, 12:34 pm
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 2:22 pm

Parasite became the first non-English-language movie to win the best picture Oscar last night, in a significant upset for the much-feted British war film 1917.

The film also took the Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature awards.

British hopefuls were shut out of the acting categories, with success for Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger, Laura Dern and Brad Pitt, but Sir Elton John did triumph in the original song category.

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The night was full of eloquent acceptance speeches, as emotional winners thanked those they were most grateful for in helping them reach the top of the awards mountain.

But it was Phoenix's speech in particular - delivered as he collected his award for Best Actor portraying the origin of Batman's nemesis in Joker - that caught the global attention.

Touching on everything from veganism to equal rights, here's Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix's Oscars speech in full:

Jane Fonda, Best Actor award winner Joaquin Phoenix, and Olivia Colman stand backstage (Photo: Richard Harbaugh - Handout/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)

"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.

"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.

"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.

"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.”

What else has Phoenix said?

Joaquin Phoenix poses in the press room with the Oscar for Best Actor (Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Phoenix's speech comes just a week after the actor was praised for addressing "systemic racism" within the film industry during his Bafta award acceptance speech.

Phoenix won the Leading Actor award for his role in Joker and used the time he was given for his acceptance speech to raise the issue of the lack of diversity.

As he addressed the crowd, he explained that while he appreciated the recognition he got from BAFTA, he was uncomfortable with the way artists of colour weren't being recognised.

"I think that we send a very clear message to people of colour that you’re not welcome here," he said.

"I think that’s the message that we’re sending to people that have contributed so much to our medium and our industry and in ways that we benefit from."

"This is not a self righteous condemnation, because I’m ashamed to say that I’m part of the problem. I have not done everything in my power to ensure that the sets I work on are inclusive but I think it’s more than just having sets that are multicultural. I think that we have to really do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism.

"I think that it is the obligation of the people that have created and perpetuate and benefit from a system of oppression to be the ones that dismantle it, so that’s on us.”

As his speech came to an end, a round of applause erupted.

This article originally appeared on iNews