If you’ve read my posts you’ll know I’m a huge fan of celebrities using their platform to advocate change.
Beyonce represented the victims of Hurricane Katrina with her #Formation video whilst Amandla Stenberg posted an informative video on Tumblr to raise awareness about cultural appropriation.
As important as it is for entertainers to thank their loved ones, agents, fellow cast members etc when on and off the awards stage, I have such a respect for actors or performers who recognise that the roles they play have the potential to begin a conversation about topics society deem taboo. What better time to do this than during an acceptance speech?
“Let us not take this planet for granted, I do not take tonight for granted”
Leo’s first Oscar win ever and he used the moment to basically say hey, lets talk about Climate Change. DiCaprio won Best Actor for his performance in The Revenant. A film which sees DiCaprio’s character embark upon a wild adventure to avenge his son’s death. Throughout the film audiences learn that his greatest enemy is actually nature as we witness his struggle to survive in the harsh climate and on the lands, much of which is being colonised and stolen from the indigenous peoples who live there.
At the 88th Academy Awards, Leonardo DiCaprio called on leaders, politicians and everyday citizens to “stop procrastinating” and confront the problem that is climate change.
But why is it so important for Leo to have said anything at all?
Did you know that 1 in 5 people in the United States think climate change is a hoax?
Or how about this, Climate change could displace 250 million people by 2050?
82% of researchers agree that climate change is strongly linked to human behaviour.
These drastic changes to the earth’s climate are causing the frequency and more random occurrence of flooding and natural disasters and spreading of disease.
Leo’s Twitter feed is also filled with calls for collective action against human induced climate change including oil drilling and deforestation. In fact thats all he really uses the account for. In his Twitter bio he identifies himself as ‘Actor and Environmentalist.’ It’s fair to say that more actors should be showing the same commitment to making issues that affect everyone conversation-worthy.
So when Leo said,
“Climate change is real it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species”
He was completely right .
Watch his acceptance speech below.