Critics' Choice Awards: Joaquin Phoenix Champions Vegan Menu, Address Gun Violence After Best Actor Win

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association
Joaquin Phoenix

The 'Joker' actor reiterated comments he made at the Golden Globes before supporting actress presenter Seth Meyers joked about the food.

Joaquin Phoenix heralded the Critics' Choice Awards' decision to offer a plant-based menu while accepting his win for best actor at the 25th annual ceremony, held Sunday night at Santa Monica's Barker Hangar.

"First, I'd like to thank the awards for going plant-based and trying to offset our carbon footprint. It's a really amazing message," Phoenix told the crowd.

His comments mirrored his statement during his 2020 Golden Globes speech for his best actor win. Phoenix also used his speech to thank his mother before addressing Joker's relationship to gun violence and mental health, thanking director Todd Phillips and writer Scott Silver for the opportunity to embody the role. 

"Scott Silver and Todd Phillips, you checked us. You took a comic book character and used it to talk about childhood trauma, gun violence, isolation and mental health. And instead of inciting violence, you invited the audience in to see what it feels like when you're one of the forgotten," he said.

The film faced controversy before its release for its themes and depictions of gun violence and toxic masculinity. Directly following Phoenix's speech, Late Night host and best supporting actress presenter Seth Meyers made a sly joke about the menu, noting that it was good "food critics" weren't in the room. 

"I fully understand that the pettiness of my reaction says far more about me than it does about you," Meyers said to laughs. 

Phoenix was nominated alongside Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Robert De Niro (The Irishman), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story) and Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name).