- The Washington Times
Monday, February 10, 2020

British comedian Ricky Gervais said Monday that while he agreed with much of what Joaquin Phoenix said during his Oscars acceptance speech from a humanitarian perspective, celebrities who lecture “everyday, hard working people” from their “privileged” platforms often alienate them instead of create real change.

“I have nothing against the most famous people in the world using their privileged, global platform to tell the world what they believe,” Mr. Gervais tweeted to his 14.2 million followers Monday. “I even agree with most of it. I just tried to warn them that when they lecture everyday, hard working people, it has the opposite effect. Peace.”

“I think he’s great,” he added, referring to Mr. Phoenix. “And most of his stuff was actually humanitarian. But I know for a fact that’s lots of people hate overtly partly political lectures from celebrities and dig their heels in. That’s all.”

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Mr. Phoenix, who took home the best actor award for his leading role in “Joker,” used his acceptance speech Sunday night to tout veganism.

“We go into the natural world, and we plunder it for its resources,” the actor said. “We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and when she gives birth, we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then, we take her milk, that’s intended for her calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.

“I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something to give something up,” he added. “But human beings, at our best, are so inventive and creative and ingenious, and I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.”

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Mr. Phoenix wasn’t the only subject of Mr. Gervais’ ridicule during the Oscars. Mr. Gervais also tweeted some of the jokes he would tell if he were hosting the awards show.

“‘I can’t wait to hear all your inspirational speeches about equality, and it’s great that the 3 hours you’re here tonight is the only time your badly paid migrant house staff will get some time off to sleep this week,’” he wrote.

“‘It’s great to see such diversity in the room tonight. Rich sex pests of all shapes and sizes,’” he added.

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