Last year’s Teen Choice Awards would have been pretty ordinary had it not been for Ashton Kutcher’s Acceptance Speech. The moment his name was called for the Teen’s Ultimate Choice Award, the show took an interesting turn.
Teenagers in the audience started squealing, the rock music started playing, and Ashton, sporting a strikingly ordinary hat and shirt, stepped up to the podium. You could tell immediately there was something serious on his mind by the formal way in which he waved and pointed at the crowd, even more so when he began his speech:
“I feel like a fraud. My name is actually not even Ashton, Ashton is my middle name, my first name is Chris.”
Very early on we got the feeling the actor meant business. He made strong, confident gestures to emphasize every point he wanted to make. Here are just a few of the pieces of advice he gave teens that night:
“I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work.”
“The sexiest thing in the world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous.”
“Everything around us we call life was made up by people who are no smarter than you, and you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in.”
Notice how these aren’t the usual generic “follow your dream” type advice celebs give for the sake of PR. Instead, it’s smart, thoughtful, and generous pieces of advice that serve a concrete purpose. His latest acting role as Steve Jobs had clearly influenced what he had to say. Jobs was the kind of guy that never let authority stop him from pursuing his dreams. He was very inspirational.
In an interview with Ellen Degeneres a few days after the show, Ashton got the chance to discuss the reasons for why he did it. Here’s what he had to say about the Award’s show itself:
“Usually when you go to those shows, it’s people propagating the fame machine over and over and over again.”
In the interview, as well as in the speech, he made valid criticisms about the industry and the negative effects it had on young people. This of course comes from his own experiences as an actor. It’s refreshing to see a celebrity be critical about fame in the last place we’d expect it to be. Something similar happened at the 45th Oscar Academy Awards. The Award for Best Actor went to Marlon Brando for his performance in “The Godfather,” but he wasn’t at the event. He had Sacheen Littlefeather, a representative of the Native American Affirmative Image Committee, sit in his place. She used the opportunity to talk about the Film Industry’s treatment of Native Americans. It sounded like the audience was booing her at one point. It goes to show just how much courage it takes to do these kinds of things. Teen squeals were practically a part of Ashton’s speech too, along with a few dozen “We love you Ashton’s”. Makes me wonder whether or not they were listening to what he was trying to say.
“If there’s one person that was listening that pursues a different path,” said Ashton Kutcher in his interview with Ellen Degeneres, “I think I did what I wanted to do.”
I found out about this story through a post on Tumblr. Last I checked there were about 70,000 notes on it. I’d say he accomplished a bit more than he bargained for.
How do you feel about his speech? Do you like it? Hate it? Any other Award Show moments you felt were interesting?