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Oscars 2020: Joaquin Phoenix calls for equality in Oscar speech

Joaquin Phoenix won his first Oscar for best actor for his role in “Joker”, becoming the second performer to win an Oscar for playing the comic book villain.

Previously, he was nominated for “The Master,” “Walk the Line” and “Gladiator.”

However, he used the moment in the spotlight to call attention to serious causes including gender inequality, racism and animal rights, saying, “we’re talking about the fight against injustice.”

In his acceptance speech, he said: “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 and use and exploit another with impunity”.

“I’ve been a scoundrel in 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,” he said. “And I think that’s when we’re at our best — when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other towards redemption. That is the best of humanity”, he further added.

Phoenix concluded his acceptance speech on an emotional note by quoting a lyric written by his late brother, River Phoenix when he was 17 years old: “Run into the rescue with love and peace will follow.”

This is the second time two actors have won Oscars for playing the same character, earlier in 2009, the first person to win an Oscar for playing the Joker character was Heath Ledger, winning posthumously for his role in “The Dark Knight.”

Marlon Brando, in 1972,  won the best actor Oscar for playing Vito Corleone. Two years later, Robert De Niro won the best supporting actor for playing a younger version of the same character.

Saman Siddiqui

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