Nod to Life: Best Supporting Actor Thanks Single, High School Dropout Mom

Looks like the media are tiring of their attack on life, at least when that life turns out to be a celebrity success story.

During his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor, Jared Leto told the story of his mother who fought to create a better life for him despite her status as a high school dropout and single mother. From Time magazine to ABC News, the media offered only praise for Leto’s words.

Leto won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his controversial role in portraying a transgender diagnosed with AIDS in “Dallas Buyers Club” on March 2. Continues after the video.

When he earned his award, Leto first thanked his mother:

In1971, Bossier City, Louisiana, there was a teenage girl who was pregnant with her second child. She was a high school dropout and a single mom, but somehow she manage to make a better life for herself and her children. She encouraged her kids to be creative, to work hard and to do something special. That girl is my mother and she’s here tonight. And I just want to say ‘I love you mom, thank you for teaching me to dream.’

Leto went on to acknowledge others including his brother, those who “lost the battle to AIDS” and “dreamers” in the Ukraine and Venezuela.

Time magazine’s Isaac Guzmán called the acceptance speech “amazing” while Mashable’s Neha Prakash described his words as “beyond perfect.” PolicyMic dubbed it “incredible,” ABC News (via AP) noted the speech as unselfish and “touching,” and even celebrity blogger Perez Hilton gushed, “his speech will leave you in tears!”

Nice to see the media press pause on their routine language and coverage in order to celebrate life, even if briefly.

— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.

Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder
Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center