Leo DiCaprio Highlights First Nations, Shades Lady Gaga At Golden Globes
As the orchestra strings attempted to hurry him offstage, Leonardo DiCaprio took time during his Golden Globe award speech to acknowledge indigenous peoples and their threatened land.
“I want to share this award with all the First Nations people represented in this film, and all the indigenous communities around the world,” he said, accepting the Best Actor in a Motion Picture award for his portrayal of Hugh Glass in the Alejandro G. Iñárritu-directed The Revenant. “It is time that we recognize your history, and that we protect your indigenous lands from corporate interests and people that are out there to exploit them.” DiCaprio has a storied (and calculable) interest in environmental preservation, having produced and narrated the 2007 documentary The 11th Hour, a film that emphasized the severity of global warming before we had even considered snow-less Decembers.
His comments were met with enthusiastic applause, a stark contrast to the mix of jeers and boos that followed Sacheen Littlefeather‘s Oscar acceptance speech in 1973. In full Apache getup, Littlefeather had taken the stage at the request of Marlon Brando, improvising a speech about the disrespectful portrayal and exploitation of Native Americans in Hollywood. She had meant to read a 15-page speech penned by Brando, but, as she recalls in the 2009 documentary Reel Injun, a producer backstage threatened to physically remove her from the premises if she took more than a minute of TV time.
DiCaprio’s statement was less pointed–he doesn’t call out Hollywood, specifically–but, 40 years on, the message was depressingly similar. On a Golden Globes night that was dominated by Ricky Gervais’s now-predictable shock humor and red carpet jibber-jabber, it was nice to encounter a moment of sincerity.
In a less-earnest moment, DiCaprio shot daggers at Lady Gaga, awarding her the side-eye of the show, as she brushed by him en route to collect her award for Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie.
“Oh lord–that’s trending, huh?” DiCaprio told ET, regarding the incident, reflecting briefly on the GIF-crazy whims of the internet-age.
Image via 20th Century Fox. GIF via Yahoo.