Leonardo DiCaprio had a message for Oscar viewers Sunday night: climate change is real, and we need to act on it now.
DiCaprio won the award for Best Actor for his role as a frontiersman in The Revenant — his sixth time nominated for an Oscar and first time winning. DiCaprio used the second half of his speech — after the usual thanks — to call attention to climate change.
“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 recorded history — our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow,” he said. “Climate change is real, it is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”
DiCaprio, whose reference to climate change drew applause from the audience, went on to call for the support of “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 underprivileged people who will be most affected by this, for our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed.”
At least one of those world leaders — Joe Biden — attended the Oscars Sunday night, and the White House responded in support of DiCaprio’s calls.