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Leonardo DiCaprio addresses climate change after Oscar win

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Posted: Monday, February 29, 2016. 12:48 pm CST.

Posted: Monday, February 29th, 2016. 12:49 p.m. CST

leonardo_dicaprioBy Aaron Humes: Collecting his first Academy Award on Sunday night as Best Actor for “The Revenant,” actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio said he hoped audiences would heed what the film said about “man’s relationship with the natural world”, according to the Guardian (UK).

“Climate change is real,” he said. “It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat affecting our species. We need to work together and stop procrastinating.”

DiCaprio concluded by urging support for those people whose “voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed”. “Let us not take this planet for granted,” he said. “I do not take tonight for granted.”

DiCaprio is presently organizing to build a state-of-the art eco-resort on his private island, Blackadore Caye, west of Ambergris Caye. The project is currently in consultations over the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

DiCaprio’s speech was one of many on the night addressing political issues, chief among them the lack of diversity in the awards themselves.

For the second year running, all nominees in the major acting categories were white, prompting some leading black actors and sympathizers to boycott the ceremony and others to protest.

Host Chris Rock assailed Hollywood as “racist,” but he also poked fun at those who had said they would not attend the event in protest, calling the boycott of Jada Pinkett Smith “like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties: I wasn’t invited”.

He also sought to put the injustice in context, saying that, in the past, “black people had real things to protest”. “We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer,” he joked.

Others addressed issues ranging from treatment of the LGBT community to child abuse by priests.

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