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Matthew McConaughey Criticized for Neglecting Mention of AIDS in Bizarre Oscar Speech: VIDEO


Matthew McConaughey is drawing criticism for his Best Actor acceptance speech for Dallas Buyers Club, in which he played Ron Woodroof, a straight Dallas electrician and real-life AIDS patient who organized a buying club for hard-to-find pharmaceuticals in the mid-80s.

McConaughey's speech, unlike his co-star Jared Leto's, failed to make any mention of people living with HIV/AIDS but thanked God and, himself.

Watch the speech and read a transcript, AFTER THE JUMP...

Writes Daniel D'Addario at Salon:

McConaughey ended his speech with catchphrases from “Dazed and Confused.” But he wasn’t, strictly speaking, accepting an Oscar for that ’90s cult classic; he was accepting an Oscar for a movie about a destructive and awful disease. There are no hard-and-fast rules here, but an actor portraying a character caught up in a historical tragedy ought perhaps to acknowledge the tragedy was real — if only to note that his performance was given additional gravitas by real-life circumstances. In McConaughey’s mind, surely, “Dallas Buyers Club” is potent and sad simply because of the quality of his own performance. But then, this is a fellow who thinks his lines from a 20-year-old movie deserve to be iconic; his perspective may be skewed.

Adds David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement:

McConaughey certainly honored his family, and God, but the manner in which he did ended up feeling like he merely was pushing pseudo-science and patting himself on the back...While I may not be a person of faith, I’d like to believe that Jesus, were he in McConaughey’s shoes last night, would have mentioned the “36 million people who have lost the battle to AIDS,” and all those who need our help and attention.

Tweeted NYC City Councilman Corey Johnson:

Matthew Mc -no mention of people living with HIV/AIDS? No mention of ACTUP/activism? A nonsensical egotrip. Disappointing to say the least.

There is one place McConaughey's speech is being lauded, however. Conservative blogs and FOX News:

Fox News’ online Oscar coverage said McConaughey was “one of the first of the night” to thank God for his win, highlight the praise (and some detraction) he received on social media for doing so. The site did not mention the religious shout-out from 20 Feet From Stardom’s Darlene Love, nor the moment that Bette Midler sang the line “Thank God for you” at the end of “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy was one of the first sites to jump on the Twitter reaction to McConaughey’s speech, with some fans questioning the tepid level of applause he received from the audience for doing so.

Conservative commentator Katie Pavlich weighed in on, applauding McConaughey for putting God above his family in the speech and contrasting him with Blue Jasmine’s Cate Blanchett, who “thanked pervert Woody Allen for her Oscar win.”

Matthew McConaughey - Acceptance Speech... by IdolxMuzic

Here's a transcript of the speech (via vulture):

Thank you thank you thank you to the Academy for this. All 6,000 members. Thank you to the other nominees. All of these performances were impeccable in my opinion, I didn’t see a false note anywhere. I want to thank Jean-Marc Vallée, our director. I want to thank Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, who I worked with daily.
There’s a few things, about three things to my count, that I need each day. One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase.
Now, first off, I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He’s graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late Charlie Laughton, who said,“When you got God, you got a friend. And that friend is you.”
To my family, that’s who and what I look forward to. To my father, I know he’s up there right now with a big pot of gumbo. He’s got a lemon meringue pie over there. He’s probably in his underwear, and he’s got a cold can of Miller Lite and he’s dancing right now. To you dad, you taught me what it means to be a man. To my mother who’s here tonight, who taught me and my two older brothers — demanded that we respect ourselves. And what we in turn learned was then we were better able to respect others. Thank you for that, Mama. To my wife Camila and my kids Levi, Vida, Mr. Stone, the courage and significance you give me every day I go out the door is unparalleled. You are the four people in my life that I want to make the most proud of me. Thank you.
And to my hero, that’s who I chase. Now, when I was 15 years old, I had a very important person in my life come to me and say, “Who’s your hero?” And I said, “I don’t know, I’ve got to think about that. Give me a couple of weeks.” I come back two weeks later, this person comes up and says, “Who’s your hero?” I said, “I thought about it. It’s me in 10 years.” So I turned 25. Ten years later, that same person comes to me and says, “So, are you a hero?” And I was like, “Not even close! No, no no!” She said, “Why?” I said, “Because my hero’s me at 35.”

So you see every day, every week, every month, and every year of my life, my hero’s always ten years away. I’m never going to be my hero. I’m not going to attain that. I know I’m not. And that’s just fine with me, because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing. So, to any of us, whatever those things are, whatever it is we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to, and whoever it is we’re chasing. To that I say: Amen. To that I say, All right, all right, all right. To that I say, just keep living, eh? Thank you.

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  1. I see we have yet one more thing to complain about. Nothing like a dour people who try to find fault in most everything when folks don't give enough lip-service to "the cause".

    Posted by: Jon | Mar 3, 2014 1:47:21 PM

  2. I don't necessarily think he should have mentioned AIDS but more so thank Ron Woodroof and his story.

    Posted by: Twins | Mar 3, 2014 1:47:46 PM

  3. As I mentioned on TheBacklot, I am of the belief that things like acceptance speeches are very personal and the right of the winner to make of them whatever they would like? Want to read a boring list of asociates? Cry? Protest the treatment of the duck billed platypus? Thank your kids? God? Parents? Tell a rambling story? All fine if you do it within the allotted time. Of course, it's nice if the platform is used for a greater good, but it is also icing on the cake and completely the winner's choice. We can and should praise winners who expand their moment to include others. But I do not think it is valid to criticize someone for not doing something they are under no obligation to do. Leto and McConaghey have given dozens upon dozens of speeches and interviews where they have shown intelligence and sensitivity on the subjects at hand (AIDS, transexuality, gay rights). But both have been blasted every time they don't say exactly what they are "expected" to. They are torn down for doing and saying what they choose to, which is quiteoften perfectly fine, even to their critics. But at the end of the day, it is 100% their decision what they say and when and I will always praise those who allot a small amount of the platform they get for others, there is nothing wrong with someone who doesn't take that opportunity every single time.

    Posted by: BreckRoyMcAlester | Mar 3, 2014 1:48:19 PM

  4. I did find the notion that someone's personal hero would be themselves in 10 years to be a *tad* bit narcissistic.

    Posted by: Ryan | Mar 3, 2014 1:50:41 PM

  5. I really don't see anything wrong with his speech. Not everyone who believes God is a Christian fundamentalist who thinks people who have AIDS deserve it. So I don't see anything wrong with him referencing his faith. Maybe he assumed everyone had seen the movie and they knew what it was about. Are the people who won from 12 Years a Slave required to give a lecture about slavery and racism?

    Posted by: Johnny | Mar 3, 2014 1:51:15 PM

  6. Great Actor, and a jerk of a guy what were you expecting? Whatever his personal behavior, the role he took on (and was truly Oscar worthy of) did enough to chronicle the AIDS struggle, in a noble, humane way...who cares about the rest of it...

    Posted by: booka | Mar 3, 2014 1:54:05 PM

  7. It's his speech, jeez.

    Posted by: Mikey | Mar 3, 2014 1:54:28 PM

  8. A little grating and narcissistic, but not a horrible speech. Considering he pushed to make the film and that effort took him 5 years to find a backer; I think his moment was earned.

    Posted by: Rad | Mar 3, 2014 1:55:40 PM

  9. McConaughey is a good actor but a crap personality, like most Hollywood actors. No shock there.

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 3, 2014 1:58:20 PM

  10. Salon and Daniel D'Addario are absolute insufferable. Total click bait reactionary nonsense. That said, Matthew's speech was terrible and AIDS should have been the topic of his speech.

    Posted by: Pablo | Mar 3, 2014 2:00:26 PM

  11. Good god, people will find anything to complain about! I thought his speech was in turns thoughtful, eloquent, entertaining, animated, and touching. And I'm not even a person of faith. Jared already acknowledged those suffering of and lost to AIDS and while Matthew could have done so as well that could have been redundant. I do find the notion of thanking god for winning an award pretty silly though. Assuming there is a god, I think there would be a lot of things of more significance going on with god than who wins best achievement in film editing or makeup or actor in a motion picture.

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Mar 3, 2014 2:01:14 PM

  12. He fought like Hell to get this movie made and was brilliant in it. His speech is his speech. He can thank anyone and everyone he wants. An Oscar is usually not as much about a specific performance but a body of work as a whole.

    Also, get used to seeing McConaughey accept awards. "True Detective" is going to win a pile of awards and his performance in it is one of the finest pieces of acting I have ever seen.

    Posted by: AJ | Mar 3, 2014 2:04:35 PM

  13. Damn it's his speech to thank whomever he likes. He got the movie made, thousands saw it, chill out

    Posted by: pete | Mar 3, 2014 2:07:20 PM

  14. His voice grates like fingernails on a chalkboard.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Mar 3, 2014 2:11:10 PM

  15. Speaking of voices grating like fingernails, that Ronan Farrow has an annoying voice. He sounds like he's 13 years old.

    Posted by: Jimbo | Mar 3, 2014 2:15:27 PM

  16. I really liked his speech. It felt genuine.

    Posted by: Arkansassy | Mar 3, 2014 2:16:14 PM

  17. Weed.

    Posted by: Lazycrockett | Mar 3, 2014 2:24:39 PM

  18. Ugh. Yes, of course it's his speech, and he's perfectly welcome to say whatever he pleases. We are also welcome to say whatever we please about it.

    I don't mind his omission of AIDS in the speech, and I don't even mind that he failed to thank Woodroof. What I do mind is his ugly narcissism. He seems like someone I wouldn't want to interact with.

    On a smaller scale, I'm always annoyed with people who thank God for all their success and riches, as if all the poor, unlucky schmucks simply weren't chosen to be blessed by God.

    Posted by: Chip | Mar 3, 2014 2:32:41 PM

  19. After the work he put into the part, I think he did fine. The religion part was a little cringe worthy, but its his speech. No reason to be bitter.

    Posted by: Matt | Mar 3, 2014 2:41:04 PM

  20. Completely agree with poster Pablo, above -- Daniel D'Addario at the Salon website is an awful writer who seemingly specializes in creating a daily "outrage" that is almost always completely ridiculous. I still read Salon everyday, but skip anything with his byline.

    Posted by: D.B. | Mar 3, 2014 2:42:54 PM

  21. I haven't seen the movie, but I read that Woodruff was really bisexual and they just hollywooded it.

    Posted by: Patrick | Mar 3, 2014 2:45:37 PM

  22. i wasn't bothered by his failure to mention the ongoing aids crisis or it's journey, and the truth behind his dedication and hard fight to see the film through to production says a lot.

    however; his "thank-yous" are telling of his state of mind and his thought processes. it might easily be perieved his reasoning behind fighting for the film was not due to the subject matter, but self-serving only - it was a good role for him - or maybe some of both. either way, his arrogance and self-obsession was on full display during his speech, without question, mostly me, me, me, my family, my goals, my religion, my future, my past.

    it was saddening to witness an actor who gave such a great performance show such a shallow display of arrogance. it leads me to believe there's not much below the surface.

    Posted by: northalabama | Mar 3, 2014 3:00:05 PM

  23. I thought it was appropriate since he's been playing the same character in every movie since, "Dazed and Confused".

    Posted by: parkrunner | Mar 3, 2014 3:02:38 PM

  24. Oh come on, it's his win, his speech, he can say whatever he wants. This trend within the gay community where we attack gay friendly people because they did not say exactly what we would have preferred they say, how we preferred they say, it needs to end.

    Posted by: Tristin | Mar 3, 2014 3:07:58 PM

  25. Best-ever Oscar acceptance speech: when Joe Pesci won for Goodfellas, said, "It's my honor", and made his exit.

    Posted by: Profe Sancho Panza | Mar 3, 2014 3:15:58 PM

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