Jared Leto appears to be attempting to repent for his derided Oscars speech that had the transgender community up in arms.
After scoring Best On Screen Transformation at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday for his role as Rayon -- an HIV-positive transgender woman -- in "Dallas Buyers Club," Leto seized the moment to make a moving statement.
The actor focused on the fact that the fight to end AIDS is far from over, and that everyone deserves the right to love whomever they choose:
We've made a lot of progress in the battle against AIDS, but it's not time to celebrate just yet. There's no cure, the epidemic rages on. But here's to the hope that one day, we'll put an end of this plague, and the world will rejoice, knowing that no one will ever have to suffer the indignation of this sickness again, nor the intolerance, the fear or the prejudice that lives alongside it. Love who you want to love, live how you wish to live and never let anyone ever stop you from turning your dreams into your reality.
Though progress has been made in preventing mothers from passing on the disease to their kids and in treating people with AIDS, the figures are still concerning.
Leto’s words were particularly powerful considering the backlash he faced after delivering what some considered to be an insensitive speech at the Oscars.
After winning best supporting actor, Leto thanked his mom at length, mentioned the crises in Venezuela and Ukraine and made a brief mention of the 36 million people who have lost their lives to AIDS just as his allotted time to speak was running out.
"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," Leto added at the end.
Many members of the transgender community expressed outrage for his failing to thank the community. J. Bryan Lowder over at Slate agreed that the speech was lacking, but said that Leto’s Oscar speech was far better than the one he gave at the Golden Globes, which included jokes about Brazilian waxing.
"It wasn’t much in the context of a lengthy speech, considering that a significant percentage of this win should be attributed to the Academy's desire to make a social statement. And the relevant lines could have been less vague (the word transgender did not appear)," Loder wrote. "But then, waxing jokes were avoided and the relevant lines seemed heart-felt, so I say we call it a net improvement."
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