Oscar Winner Takes Opportunity To Address Joe Biden Directly

The modern Academy Awards are known for having speeches that speak to real-world events far beyond the reaches of Hollywood Boulevard. There is a long and varied history of artists taking stands or making politically charged speeches during the Oscars. For example, in 1993, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins spoke to the over 250 Haitians held at Guantanamo Bay who couldn't enter the United States because they were HIV positive, according to The Verge. Among other speeches, the outlet also mentioned John Legend and Common, who spoke at the 2015 awards about the continued struggle for racial equity in the United States.

It makes sense that speechmakers or presenters make use of their platforms in front of millions of viewers to make a statement. Some of those activist speeches have even been considered some of the most memorable Oscars speeches in history.

Needless to say, art imitates life and inspires artists to speak from their hearts. One 2022 Oscar winner, Ben Proudfoot, called out to President Joe Biden. After winning the award for short subject documentary for his film "The Queen of Basketball," Proudfoot took the opportunity to ask Biden to take action.

Ben Proudfoot implored President Biden to intervene

Unsurprisingly, Ben Proudfoot's Oscar acceptance speech for his film "The Queen of Basketball" tied into the real world of basketball. He dedicated his win to Lucy Harris — the focus of his documentary — as well as her family, and said that his award was all anyone needed to know there is "an audience for female athletes," per Decider. In the same vein, he then implored President Joe Biden to "bring Brittney Griner home."

Griner is a WNBA star who has been detained in Russia since mid-February after officials found cannabis vape cartridges in her luggage at the airport in Moscow, according to Deadline. Griner was taken into custody before Russia invaded Ukraine which likely makes her detention more complicated. Although little has been released about Griner's well-being in Russia, the Russian news agency TASS reported that she will be detained until at least May 19 (via CNN).

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who was detained in Iran for nearly 550 days, told CNN that he sees connections between what happened to him and what is now happening to Griner. He told the outlet, "I know from my own case that the supposed charges against me were not based in anything like reality, and they were used to perpetuate a narrative about why I was being held."