This past Sunday, the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards took place at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, located in Los Angeles County, where three people a day die on the streets from homelessness.
As host Ricky Gervais comically pointed out in his opening monologue, celebrities should not use their acceptance speech for political purposes since they are “in no position to lecture the public about anything,” because they “know nothing about the real world,” and have had “less time in school then Greta Thunberg.” Yet many of them did, knowing they have the ear of millions of people, including elected officials.
Russell Crowe, who won for his role as Roger Ailes in Showtime’s “The Loudest Voice” was in Australia protecting his family from the bush fires. The message he sent along said, “the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change-based,” and “we need to act based on science.” His message urged everyone to respect our planet so we all have a future.
When pregnant Michelle Williams accepted her award for her role in FX’s “Fosse/Verdon,” she alluded to the fact that she would not be where she is today had she not had an abortion and spoke of the importance of a women’s right to choose. She urged women to vote in their “own self-interest” because “it’s what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them.”
Patricia Arquette, who won for her performance in Hulu’s “The Act,” talked about our country being on “the brink of war” and “people not knowing if bombs were going to drop on their kids’ heads,” and begged of everyone to give our children a better world.
During his acceptance speech for “Joker,” a film about a descent into mental illness, Joaquin Phoenix thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press for “recognizing and acknowledging the link between animal agriculture and climate change,” and said “it was a very bold move making tonight plant-based” because of the powerful message it sends.
In 2018 alone, over 1,000 people died on the streets in Los Angeles County and the area is now seeing a comeback of medieval diseases such as Typhus, Typhoid Fever and Tuberculosis, which is infecting police officers who say sixty percent of their calls for service are transient-related.
Some celebrities do incredible work with their foundations or as UN ambassadors to third world countries, yet the skid rows of Los Angeles and San Francisco have consistently been shown to be worse than those places where they put much of their focus. While many in Hollywood have used their platform to bring an incredible amount of attention, influence and change to issues such as gender equality, sexual harassment and the environment, the drug-addicted and mentally ill, who are a danger to themselves and others, go unmentioned.
Everyone has their own personal experiences and reasons which lead them to advocate for certain causes, but not one award winner or presenter turned their attention to the almost 60,000 plus homeless in the city of Los Angeles, where they live, work and celebrated their accomplishments. With a viewership of 18 million that night, one person could have made a difference.
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