- (Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)
Viewers have criticized Hollywood's response to Matthew McConaughey's acceptance speech for "Best Actor" at Sunday's Oscars event, saying those attending the awards show offered only a smattering of applause and support for the actor when he thanked God, calling their collective response "awkward" and "confused."
Upon receiving the award for "Best Actor" for his portrayal of Ron Woodroof in the film "Dallas Buyer's Club," McConaughey took the stage at the 86th annual Academy Awards and started off his acceptance speech by thanking God. "There are three things that I need each day. One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward and another is someone to chase," the 44-year-old actor began.
"First off, I want to thank God, 'cause that's who I look up to. He's graced my life with opportunities that I know is not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it's a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late Charlie Lawton who said 'when you got God, you got a friend and that friend is you,'" he continued. McConaughey went on to describe his family, including his wife and three children, as the thing he looks forward to, and his future self in 10 years as the thing he chases.
The actor's references to God during the acceptance speech drew the attention of social media and conservative radio show hosts, including Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, who both joked that Hollywood has heard the word "God" so little they must have been confused by the actor's speech.
Beck replayed the audio of McConaughey's acceptance speech on his Monday airing of the "Glenn Beck Program," stopping the speech midway through to chuckle at the sparse amount of applause the actor received when he first mentioned God in his speech. Beck joked that several of the actors in the crowd must have questioned "What agency is he with?" when they heard God's name.
Beck went on to observe that those in attendance "don't even applaud. They just don't applaud at the very beginning." The conservative radio show host later said about McConaughey: "I absolutely love this guy. Where has he been hiding."
Rush Limbaugh, host of "The Rush Limbaugh Show," also joked about the audience's reaction of McConaughey's speech, saying that when the actor mentioned God, it was the only moment during the awards show "where there was any discomfort and confusion."
"They literally didn't know what to do. They basically didn't do anything. A couple people applauded and cheered, but, I mean, that was basically it."
McConaughey also received multiple shout-outs on Twitter for his references to God. Texas Gov. Rick Perry tweeted "Texas boy counting his blessings" while Fox News analyst Monica Crowley tweeted "[In Case You Missed It] Matthew McConaughey's lovely Oscar acceptance speech, in which he, yes, thanked God first."
"Hollywood awkward silence for God but loves loves loves the Dazed and Confused sign off," tweeted The New York Times' Matt Apuzzo.
McConaughey also received some criticism from viewers who thought his reference to God was inappropriate. "OK so you really deserved it McConaughey. Just stop the stupid god talk," tweeted one observer, as reported by Fox News.