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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. great actor NOT. I have always enjoyed him but that's because he always plays the same Texan asswipe. he is not an intellectual he is just a dude that did not deserve this award. Oh wait the academy loves a freak and that's what they awarded the freaks

    Posted by: Bellah | Mar 3, 2014 3:17:49 PM

  2. Years on, people will watch the movie. The speech, not so much. So tired with these prescriptions on other people's words, esp as here when the action (the movie) spoke loud and clear.

    Posted by: melvin | Mar 3, 2014 3:35:18 PM

  3. There is a big difference between Lupita and Steve McQueen's speeches and Matthew's. Yes, it is his speech but considering it was someone else's story he was telling he could have said something about it. Taking to time to just talk up yourself is very narcissistic.

    Posted by: Derrick | Mar 3, 2014 3:37:56 PM

  4. I just watched his acceptance speech on youtube. As a hopeful atheist--hopeful that there is a higher power and an afterlife, but realistic enough to realize there probably isn't and that all religion therefore is silly--I could have done without the references to God simply because I think it fuels a mass delusion that there is one. But I didn't particularly find those references over the top. And everyone is entitled to his/her opinion about religion.

    As for the purported narcissism evident in the fact that he called himself his own hero--that really wasn't what he was saying. He wasn't saying that he is his own hero. He was saying, in a way that unfortunately came across narcissistic, that he wants to be his own hero but so far hasn't grown enough to fill that mythical person's shoes--and that he never will. It is a statement meant to communicate that he is an imperfect being, always seeking to be the best version of himself possible and always coming up short. I didn't find it narcissistic at all. In fact, it seemed humble to me.

    And, as someone who has been HIV+ since the late '90s, I find his failure to acknowledge those of us who live with and have died of this disease both shocking and offensive.

    Posted by: peterparker | Mar 3, 2014 3:40:10 PM

  5. The man is a complete tool and the movie is a disgusting misrepresentation of reality. Ron Woodroof was at least bisexual, possibly gay and not homophobic in the slightest.

    Posted by: JMC | Mar 3, 2014 3:42:46 PM

  6. yeah he can thank whoever he wants. he can mention his god if he wants. it was his moment, probably his one and only, so let him do what he wants. and don't second guess the poor thing. He's got enough troubles, after all he's his own hero. (dear God)

    Posted by: Sean | Mar 3, 2014 3:50:56 PM

  7. AJ, I have to agree with you about his work in True Detective, it's better than this oscar winning role, and just pretty damn amazing. I thought that his acceptance speech was just odd.

    Posted by: EricD. | Mar 3, 2014 3:52:23 PM

  8. Obviously people like Corey Johnson, David Badash, and Daniel D'Addario have nothing better to do with their lives. He is a freaking actor. He is NOT a professional activist. He can thank or mention in his acceptance speech whoever the hell he wants to.

    Posted by: Perry | Mar 3, 2014 4:28:49 PM

  9. Jared Leto made the best speech of the evening. McCougnahey revealed his true obnoxious self- let's see how long his Oscar glow will last...

    Posted by: jarago | Mar 3, 2014 5:50:13 PM

  10. The speech was remarkably self-centred.

    I've never heard someone thank themselves before, and completely ignore the competitors in their category.

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 3, 2014 5:59:58 PM

  11. Huh ?

    God watches the movies ?
    and he's not even embarrassed spewing this $h1te in public ?

    Is this the kind of dumbed down clap-trap that people really believe ?
    If so, then what the phuck has religion done to we sentient beings ?
    Has it come to this ?

    The first ever humanoid who heard thunder and saw the lightening, imagined/invented god; now we have him making movies !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 3, 2014 6:05:06 PM

  12. It's obvious praising God is not "fashionable" in the movie business. If anyone wants to criticize Christians because of their views on homosexuality I say they can do it at their own peril. However these folks should be mindful that it's the Muslims not the Christians that flat out exterminate homosexuals. We Christians live and let live. But we don't like the homosexual community demanding we change our religion merely to suit them. I think Matthew Mc Conaughey has the right to say whatever he wants as the Oscar Winner for Best Actor. I'm sure we'll be seeing less of this great actor now that he's "Come out of the closet". Truly ironic isn't it? Love you Matthew. Your brother in Christ and Proud American Veteran.

    Posted by: Ray | Mar 3, 2014 6:16:54 PM

  13. A terrible speech from an extremely overrated actor. Just lowering your voice and talking deeper does not make you a good actor no matter how many people are stupid enough to buy that !

    Matthew is so far up his own ass and this speech showed just how self absorbed he really is. What a dumb fck ! I always thought he was smarter than that. Major disappointment.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Mar 3, 2014 6:57:52 PM

  14. @JAMAL49 THANK YOU for saying that ! I thought I was the only person who hated Matthews over the top exaggerated fake southern drawl. He has basically built a career on it because silly women think it is sexy. I hate it.

    I have been attempting to watch HBO's True Detective TV show which has Matthew in it and critics are raving about it but he overracts so much I just have to fast forward through his parts. He is one of the Executive Producers so he has made sure the show focuses on his character over and over and over. In one hour long episode we have about 45 minutes of analyzing Matthew's character and just 15 minutes of actual storyline. The guy is absolutely obsessed with himself and I think this Oscar speech just proved it.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Mar 3, 2014 7:03:32 PM

  15. I thought his performance was honor and remembrance enough, but that's just me. I actually thought his speech was heartfelt and touching.

    Posted by: Albert | Mar 3, 2014 7:11:36 PM

  16. To one of the commenters above, Matthew did call out and recognize the other actors in his category. It was near the beginning of his speech. Did you even watch it before you criticized him?

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Mar 3, 2014 7:23:15 PM

  17. Ugh it's just a speech, we in the gay community have a lot more stuff to b*tch about than a speech. And does any of you realize that it's only on this blog and well other LGBT sites there are negative responses to the speech? The majority of America just doesn't share the same view.

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Mar 3, 2014 7:56:35 PM

  18. Ray, I mean Rick, you continue to try and deflect attention away from the fact that your bigoted republican pals are finally being called out. In the USA, it's not the Muslims that are single-handedly putting through a ton of anti-gay legislation. That's your beloved Christians.

    Posted by: Tyler | Mar 3, 2014 9:08:44 PM

  19. Brad Pitt kept teasing about making this film and then dropped the ball.....

    Posted by: styler | Mar 3, 2014 9:11:20 PM

  20. Isn't it enough that he tried for 20 years to have this movie made and finally succeeded ... and in a big way?!

    I am sure that a lot goes through one's mind when one wins an Oscar and it would be very difficult to remember everyone and everything (even the whole point of the movie).

    As the saying goes, try to please everyone and you end-up pleasing no one.

    Posted by: John | Mar 4, 2014 12:15:11 AM

  21. @ICEBLOO and @JAMAL49 I went to college with him, and had two classes with him. His accent/drawl is very, very real. Lots of dudes from Uvalde and the surrounding area sound exactly like that.

    Posted by: TillGabrielBlowsHisHorn | Mar 4, 2014 12:19:59 AM

  22. Not a fan. Opportunist. Glad to see he lost his looks when he went all method. Don't think they will come back.

    Posted by: John | Mar 4, 2014 3:40:44 PM

  23. With Matthew finally making a movie about Woodruff and his fight for AIDs patients that had floated around Hollywood for 20 years, how much more could he really do to bring the AIDs cause out in to the public awareness, especially after winning the Oscar.

    More people will see the movie because he won an Oscar. Don't Hate - Appreciate.

    Posted by: ShaunieL | Mar 4, 2014 6:31:32 PM

  24. With Matthew finally making a movie about Woodruff and his fight for AIDs patients that had floated around Hollywood for 20 years, how much more could he really do to bring the AIDs cause out in to the public awareness, especially after winning the Oscar.

    More people will see the movie because he won an Oscar. Don't Hate - Appreciate.

    Posted by: ShaunieL | Mar 4, 2014 6:31:32 PM

  25. With Matthew finally making a movie about Woodruff and his fight for AIDs patients that had floated around Hollywood for 20 years, how much more could he really do to bring the AIDs cause out in to the public awareness, especially after winning the Oscar.

    More people will see the movie because he won an Oscar. Don't Hate - Appreciate.

    Posted by: ShaunieL | Mar 4, 2014 6:31:32 PM

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