Throughout the evening, Phoenix’s fellow celebrities both touched on political issues and sent their well-wishes to those in Australia battling the devastating wildfires that are sweeping across the continent. However, the 45-year-old actor used his time on stage to call for his celebrity cohorts to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to climate change.
“It’s really nice that so many people have come up and sent their well wishes to Australia, but we have to do more than that,” the actor began. “It’s such a beautiful gesture... I’ve not always been a virtuous man. I’m learning so much and so many of you in this room have given me multiple opportunities to get it right, and I am grateful. But I think together, hopefully, we can be unified and actually make some changes.”
The star’s tone then shifted as he took a direct shot at climate activists in Hollywood that don’t walk-the-walk.
“It’s great to vote but sometimes we have to take that responsibility on ourselves and make changes and sacrifices in our own lives and hope that we can do that,” he concluded. “We don’t have to take private jets to Palm Springs for the award sometimes, or back. Please. And I’ll try to do better and I hope you will, too.”
Although he didn’t seem to direct his comments at anyone in particular, many celebrities that consider themselves climate change activists have not adjusted their lifestyles of taking private jets to their engagements around the globe. For example, Leonardo DiCaprio, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom all took heat in 2019 when they were among the A-listers to attend Google’s climate change conference by way of private jets and mega yachts.
Phoenix joined the cadre of show business elites in both film and TV when he brought home one of the most coveted prizes of the night, best actor in a motion picture drama, for his role as Arthur Fleck in “Joker.”
After the speech, the star went to the press room and talked further about climate activism by complimenting the Globes for having a plant-based menu. He likened consuming animal products like meat to smoking cigarettes, specifically in terms of how it was having a consequence on the rest of the world and subsequently had laws put in place to curtail it.