Marlon Brando, the actor most well-known for his portrayal of the fictional Don Corleone in The Godfather, may have been one of the original actors who used their platform for activism.
Famously, in 1973, Brando refused to accept the Oscar awarded to him for his performance in The Godfather, cited the film industry’s poor treatment, and less than favorable portrayals of American Indians as the primary reason why he would not accept the award. At the time, this was perceived to be a surprise. In modern days, it is not unusual for actors to use their platform and fame to lobby for issues that they feel are important. Leonardo DiCaprio famously used his acceptance speech to bring attention to climate change at the 2016 Academy Awards.
It is interesting to see the evolution of actors and other famous people being more inclined to use their platforms to bring attention to causes they deem appropriate. Perhaps it is just an outcome of our society becoming more politicized.
Link to Marlon Brando’s acceptance speech: here