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The four-time Academy Award nominee won the best-supporting actor accolade for his role as a stuntman in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” The win marked his first-ever Academy Award win for acting. He immediately took the stage and got political by taking a jab at senators who voted against Democrats request to call witnesses in the impeachment trial, specifically former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who claimed he was willing to testify.
“They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week,” Pitt said. “I’m thinking maybe Quentin [Tarantino] does a movie about it. In the end, the adults do the right thing.”
No witnesses were called in Trump’s impeachment trial, for which he was ultimately acquitted by the Senate in a vote across party lines, with the exception of a lone Republican vote to convict coming from Sen. Mitt Romney.
Pitt had been expected to win the category after scooping up a series of honors this year, including at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Pitt’s politically driven tone was significantly different than previous wins, where he kept it light with jokes and breezy speeches.
Speaking backstage, the actor explained why he included a political jab in his Oscars acceptance speech.
“I was really disappointed with this week,” he told reporters (via IndieWire). “And I think when gamesmanship trumps doing the right thing, it’s a sad day and I don’t think we should let it slide. And I’m very serious about that.”
Pitt was more somber on Sunday, calling his win “incredible” as his peers cheered.
The actor plays the stunt double of an aging cowboy actor played by Leonardo DiCaprio, a best actor nominee, in Quentin Tarantino’s 1969 Hollywood fable.
Brad Pitt accepts the award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role for ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
“‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,’ ain’t that the truth,” an emotional Pitt said before he thanked his children, Tarantino and DiCaprio.
“I’ll ride on your coattails any day,” he concluded of his co-star. “The view’s fantastic.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.