Ratings for The Oscars this year were down, and Ricky Gervais has a theory as to why. Yesterday, the comedian took to Twitter to express his feelings about the A-listers who used the awards show as a platform to talk politics. While he's shared his feelings about this before, he did so in a much more measured way this time.
I have nothing against the most famous people in the world using their privileged, global platform to tell the world what they believe. 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.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) February 10, 2020
As noted by The Daily Mail, there was some political talk going on during the 92nd annual Academy Awards, though it wasn't particularly overwhelming.
The most politically-centric speech came from Joaquin Phoenix, who took home Best Actor for his work in Joker. While accepting the award, he said that "we've become very disconnected from the natural world and many of us, what we're guilty of is an egocentric world view — the belief that we're the center of the universe."
"I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something to give something up," Phoenix continued. "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."
Brad Pitt, whose performance in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood scored him Best Supporting Actor, made a quip about his 45-second time limit being "45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week," referring to the president's impeachment trial. Renée Zellweger, after winning Best Actress for Judy, mused about the unifying power of heroes.
Gervais most recently decried celebrities talking politics when he was hosting The Golden Globe Awards last month where, near the beginning of the telecast, he attempted to set the tone for acceptance speeches that evening.
"If you do win an award tonight, don't use the platform to make a political speech," he began. "You're in no position to lecture the public about anything, you know nothing about the real world. Most of you spend less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So if you win, come up, accept your award, thank your agent, and your god, and get the f— off."