Joaquin Phoenix anti-dairy Oscars speech draws rebuke from Pennsylvania congressman

February 10, 2020
In The News

WASHINGTON — During Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar speech Sunday night, the "Joker" actor criticized the dairy industry.

“We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth, we steal her baby,” Phoenix said. “Even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. And then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.”

On Monday, Rep. Fred Keller, R-Pennsylvania, issued a response to Phoenix’s remarks. Here is Keller’s statement:

“Joaquin Phoenix winning Best Actor for playing the Joker fits him to a T because his comments would have been laughable were they not so offensive. Phoenix’s rambling remarks about America’s dairy industry prove how out-of-touch he is with the hardworking Americans who grow our food and create healthy communities. Phoenix’s Hollywood-elite world view has clearly blinded him to the sacrifice and struggles of America’s dairy farmers. When I travel Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District and meet with farmers, I am always impressed with their work-ethic, thoughtfulness, and desire to help others despite facing generational industrial hardships and a libelous onslaught from anti-dairy activists. The callousness he showed in his speech last night proves he needs to get out of his Hollywood bubble to see how real Americans make a living. His remarks were detestable not just to me, but to the many hardworking family farmers across Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District with whom I speak with on a regular basis.”

Keller’s district covers much of north-central Pennsylvania. He has offices in Selinsgrove, Tunkhannock and Williamsport.