Pennsylvania Republican rips 'detestable' Joaquin Phoenix Oscars speech
Rep. Fred Keller (R-Pa.) is blasting Joaquin Phoenix as "out-of-touch" for his "offensive" Oscar acceptance speech about animal rights.
"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," the Pennsylvania Republican said in a statement this week.
"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," Keller, who represents a dairy farm and agriculture-heavy district, said.
The congressman's criticism comes after Phoenix made headlines for his acceptance speech at Sunday's Academy Awards.
After picking up the best actor Oscar for his starring role in "Joker," the 45-year-old performer made a plea for animal rights, among other social causes.
"We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and when she gives birth, we steal her baby," Phoenix told the crowd. "We take her milk that's intended for her calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal. And I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something."
"Whether we're talking about gender inequality, or racism, or queer rights, or indigenous rights, or animal rights, we're talking about the fight against injustice," Phoenix said.
"Phoenix’s Hollywood-elite world view has clearly blinded him to the sacrifice and struggles of America’s dairy farmers," Keller said in a blistering statement.
The entertainer's "detestable" speech, Keller said, "proves he needs to get out of his Hollywood bubble to see how real Americans make a living."
While Phoenix's impassioned speech won rave reviews from some supporters, it also drew some pushback outside of Congress.
"I have nothing against the most famous people in the world using their privileged, global platform to tell the world what they believe," comedian and Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais tweeted following the Academy Awards telecast. "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."