Oscar acceptance speeches are usually always the same: the usual freak-out of “Oh my god, I won an Oscar!” followed by the list of people the winner wants to thank.
This year, however, the winners used their time on stage to get the world’s attention.
Celebrities such as Patricia Arquette, John Legend, Eddie Redmayne, and J.K. Simmons all spoke out on wage equality, racism, and other controversial topics.
Simmons started off the inspiring speech brigade with a humble plea to “call your parents.” He asked the Oscar viewers to get on the phone and have a chat with their mom and dad.
“Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them on the phone. Tell them you love them and thank them and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you,” said the “Whiplash” star before thanking his own parents.
Arquette received an honorary “YAS!” from Meryl Streep for her acceptance speech, which called for wage equality.
“To every woman who have birth to every citizen and tax payer of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for Women in the United States of America,” Arquette said to a standing ovation.
Hilary Clinton, who is running in the 2016 presidential election, has already voiced her agreement with Arquette.
“I think we all cheered at Patricia Arquette’s speech at the Oscars, because she’s right – it’s time to have wage equality,” Clinton said while giving a presentation at a women’s tech conference.
Legend and Common also took a stand when accepting their award for Best Original Song for their song, “Glory”.
“There are more black men under correctional control than there were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you we see you, we love you and march on,” Legend said.
Redmayne, who played Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything”, sent a shout-out to the Hawking family and those suffering with ALS.
“This belongs to all of those people around the world battling ALS. It belongs to one exceptional family: Stephen, Johnathan, Jane and the Hawking children,” said the Best Actor winner.
Through social media coverage by fans, these speeches have been viewed and retweeted and favorited millions of times.
“There is something shocking and thrilling about watching one of your favorite actors or actresses give their opinion on a controversial issue. I don’t think anyone was expecting these speeches,” said senior Corinne Franchette.
But can speeches like these really make a difference?
“I think so. A lot of people look up to these celebrities and pay mind to what they say. Their words can reach many and that is powerful,” said senior Andrea French.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!