Climate Change Takes Center Stage at the Oscars
On Sunday night, five-time Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio finally got the nod. In his acceptance speech for the Best Actor award, he took the opportunity to draw attention to an issue he’s deeply passionate about – climate change. He told the program’s 34 million viewers that he witnessed the effects of climate change first-hand while filming The Revenant. “Climate change is real, it is happening right now,” he said. “It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.” (Watch a clip of his speech here.)
As this Guardian article reports, DiCaprio expanded on his remarks backstage, urging people to vote for leaders who care about the future of our civilization.
DiCaprio has long been a vocal supporter of climate action, and even met with Pope Francis earlier this year to discuss their mutual concern about the health of the planet. Both have used their celebrity status to shine a light on the issue, and because they are so highly respected and admired, their messages have resonated strongly.
Pope Francis’ encyclical and other teachings on climate have had a measurable effect on Americans, substantially boosting climate change awareness and concern. It’s too soon to know the full effect of DiCaprio’s climate speech, but we’re grateful to him for using what is arguably the biggest night of his life to focus on climate action.
By Nigel M Smith, contributor to the Guardian
Backstage at the Academy Awards, the winner of the best actor Oscar expanded on his impassioned acceptance speech
Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar on Sunday, after being nominated four times previously. The actor was expected to win after dominating the best actor race all season, winning a number of precursor awards including a Bafta. Still, he said the industry-wide support he’s received over the past few months “feels incredibly surreal”.
“This year in particular I was overwhelmed by the support from fans and people in the industry,” he said backstage at the ceremony, shortly after winning his best actor Oscar for The Revenant. “I’m grateful, I really am.”
DiCaprio took time to reminisce about his time spent growing up in east Los Angeles, “very close to the Hollywood studio system”.
Image credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences