February 29, 2016

Using your Fame—You’re Doing it Right, Leonardo.

Disney | ABC Television Group / Flickr

To be honest, there was only one reason I wanted to watch the Academy Awards this year: to see if Leonardo DiCaprio finally gets what he deserves—an Oscar for his amazing acting career.

But since watching the Oscars live on the non-U.S. side of the world is a bit of a mission impossible (well, not impossible but it involves staying up until the early morning and annoying your friends to come watch it at their place because you don’t actually own a TV), I just had to settle for reading the news this morning and watching highlights on YouTube.

So has he finally won it? If you have turned on the internet today, you could not have missed the news: Yes, yes he did! And how has he received the award? Well, in a classic Leonardo stile: brilliantly!

Amongst the usual cheesy thank-you-everyone-for-making-my-dreams-come-true kind of speeches, his was different.

Of course he expressed gratitude for everyone who helped him get where he is today (although, if you ask me, he forgot to thank one thing: his talent) but that’s not where the speech ended.

He touched on a topic than affects us all: climate change.

“Lastly I just want to say this. Making the Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world. A world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in the recorded history. Our production needed to move to the most southern tip just to find snow. Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species. We need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of the underprivileged people who will be most affected by this. For our children’s children. And for those people whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed. I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this planet for granted, I do not take this night for granted.”

By now, we know he’s an environmentalist but by bringing this topic to an event and an industry that is mainly focused on entertainment without the consideration of its effect on the environment, it was a great way of reaching beyond the choir.

He has proven, once again, that he is much more than just a great actor.

Pointing out these environmental issues is just a start, of course, and there is so much we need to do in order to help our planet heal but it’s a great start and a call to action.

Watch the full speech below but I warn you, it might make you dig up all those Leonardo posters from when you were in primary school and reignite your “Leo crush” and make you stand up for our planet Earth!




Author: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: Disney | ABC Television Group / Flickr

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