After Joaquin Phoenix spoke out about the importance of combating climate change at the 2020 Golden Globes — where he took home the award for best actor in a drama motion picture for his role in Joker — he marched alongside Jane Fonda to advocate for the issue again at her final climate change rally in Washington, D.C.
On Friday, Phoenix and Fonda were set to be accompanied by a handful of notables names, including Susan Sarandon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, her Grace & Frankie co-star Martin Sheen and Amber Valletta, among others. For the protest, the group of stars were also joined by an impassioned group of climate activists.
According to video posted to Twitter, Fonda said Phoenix “came of his own volition.” When Phoenix took the microphone to speak to the crowd, he said, “Something that oftentimes isn’t talked about in the environmental movement or in the conversation about climate change is that the meat and dairy industry is the third-leading cause of climate change. I think sometimes we wonder, ‘What can we do in this fight against climate change?’ And there is something you can do today, right now, and tomorrow by making a choice about what you consume.”
He continued, “I struggle so much with what I can do at times. There are things I can’t avoid. I flew a plane out here last night, but one thing I can do is change my eating habits. So i just want to urge all of you to join me in that.”
Joaquin Phoenix: “I struggle so much with what I can do [to combat climate change] at times. There are things that I can’t avoid — I flew a plane out here today, or last night rather. But one thing that I can do is change my eating habits.” pic.twitter.com/RaZILYq0La
— The Hill (@thehill) January 10, 2020
According to a press release, Friday morning’s protest — the final protest in Fonda’s series called “Fire Drill Fridays” — focused on “the major banks and investors that finance fossil fuel exploration,” demanding “immediate action for a Green New Deal: cut carbon emissions in half by 2030, replace with clean, renewable energy, and no new exploration/drilling for fossil fuels.” Fonda’s website promises an exciting announcement about the future of Fire Drill Fridays as Fonda heads back to Los Angeles.
As seen in photos and videos posted on social media, Phoenix and Sheen were detained by police. A spokesperson for the United States Capitol Police confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that law enforcement “responded to unlawful demonstration activity on the Rotunda steps of the U.S. Capitol Building,” with 147 individuals arrested for “crowding, obstructing and incommoding.”
Phoenix’s involvement in the protest with Fonda — who has continued to show up most Fridays despite multiple arrests for public disobedience — comes after he made remarks about the planet’s climate crisis during his acceptance speech at the Globes. He opened up by thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press “for recognizing and acknowledging the link between animal agriculture and climate change” by going with a plant-based menu for the ceremony.
And Phoenix also acknowledged the brushfires that were, and still are, causing significant harm across Australia. He noted that the thoughts and prayers sent to the country throughout the telecast was a “beautiful gesture,” but added, “We have to do more than that.”
“It’s great to vote, but sometimes we have to take that responsibility on ourselves and make changes and sacrifices in our own lives,” he continued. “I hope that we can do that. We don’t have to take private jets to Palm Springs for the awards sometimes, or back, please.”
Jan. 10, 12:15 p.m. Updated with confirmation from Capitol Police that 147 arrests were made at Friday’s protest.