American actor Matthew McConaughey has been criticised for being self-absorbed and insensitive in his Best Actor acceptance speech at Sunday’s 86th Academy Awards.
The star won the award for his role in the acclaimed film Dallas Buyers Club, which tells the true-life story of his character’s battle with HIV and Aids.
Despite this, McConaughey failed to mention the issue at all in his speech, something that got some commentators hot under the collar.
Salon’s Daniel D’Addario said that the rambling speech, which included thank yous to God, his father and his ‘future self’, “revealed the narcissism at the centre of the McConaughey project.”
D’Addario noted that McConaughey “had just won an award for playing an AIDS patient who fights for a cure and eventually dies, and he mentioned AIDS not once…”
He wrote that “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.”
New York City Council member Corey Johnson added in a tweet: “…no mention of people living with HIV/AIDS? No mention of ACTUP/activism? A nonsensical egotrip. Disappointing to say the least.”
On the other hand, McConaughey’s co-star in Dallas Buyers Club, Jared Leto, was praised for his speech after winning the Best Supporting Actor award for playing a transgender character in the film. After thanking his mother and commenting about the crisis in the Ukraine, Leto ended with:
“And this is for the 36 million people who have lost the battle to AIDS and to those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love. I stand here in front of the world with you and for you.”
The 3.5-hour-long Academy Awards telecast, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, was a television ratings hit: it was the most-watched entertainment show in 10 years in the US, reaching over 43 million viewers.
Matthew McConaughey – Acceptance Speech… by IdolxMuzic
Jared Leto’s Acceptance Speech – Oscars 2014 by IdolxMuzic