Here's a speech we
would like to hear from an Academy Award winner:
I thank you for this
wonderful award. Receiving an Academy Award gives the recipient
an almost unique opportunity to speak to hundreds of millions
people around the world, so I would like take this once-in-a-lifetime
moment to say this:
First, I want to
thank my country, the United States of America. Every one of us
here has this country to thank for enabling us to live lives of
unprecedented freedom and unimaginable affluence. Too many of
us forget that no other country in history has offered such opportunities
to people in our profession or in any other profession, for that
Second, I want to
thank the men and women of the armed forces of the United States.
While we bask in freedom and spend a good part of our lives going
from party to party and award show to award show, tens of thousands
of my fellow Americans are confronting a menace to our world as
great as that fought by previous generations fighting Nazism and
At the same time,
I also want to apologize to these troops for my profession not
having made even one motion picture about any of the heroic American
fighters in Afghanistan and Iraq. This country is fighting a war,
Hollywood. You may think this war is unwise, waged under mistaken,
or even false, pretenses. And as an actor in Hollywood, you are
overwhelmingly likely to hate this commander in chief. But even
the men and women of Hollywood must recognize that America is
fighting the worst people of our time, people who hurt every group
Hollywood claims to care about -- minorities, women, gays -- people
who engage in the sins Hollywood most professes to oppose -- intolerance
and violence -- far more than anyone else on the planet.
In another era, when
what many have labeled "the greatest generation" fought
the German Nazis and the Japanese fascists, Hollywood made movie
after movie depicting that great war and our great warriors. And
Hollywood showed freedom's enemies as the cruel and vicious people
they were. We have not produced one film yet depicting this war
in positive terms or one depicting this generation's enemies of
freedom as the cruel and vicious people they are.
In fact, the only
nominated film about people who slaughter children at discos,
blow up weddings, and bomb pizzerias and buses filled with men,
women and children is one that attempts to show these murderers
in God's name as complex human beings. Just imagine how the Academy
would have reacted 60 years ago to a film depicting Nazi murderers
as complex human beings. We have descended far.
We in Hollywood walk
around thinking we are very important. That is why this year's
nominated films for best picture are largely pictures with messages,
pictures that relatively few people actually see. But although
Hollywood was always concerned with politics, we have let ourselves
be taken over by those for whom their message is more significant
than the primary purposes of film -- to illuminate life and to
entertain. Yes, entertain.
You know, entertainment
is actually a noble pursuit. Life is difficult for almost every
human being on earth. And if we can offer people an elevated way
to divert their attention for a couple of hours from their troubled
child, their marital tensions, their ill parent, their financial
woes, we have rendered the world a greater service than by making
another message-film against racism in America, the least racist
country in the world.
My fellow actors,
we walk around feeling that we are very important. But we do so
only because we confuse fame with significance. We do have more
fame than any other human beings in history. Far more people have
heard of any actor here tonight than of any of the discoverers
of any medication saving billions of lives, of any teacher of
the disabled, of any nurse tending the aged, of almost any national
But the truth is
that, as noble a calling as acting can be, all we do is make-believe:
We portray other people, and we speak words written by other people.
Everyone knows our names, but almost no one knows us. All they
know are the characters we play.
Thank you again.
I hope I haven't ruined your evening.
2005 Creators Syndicate