Hollywood stars use the Golden Globes to highlight fires ravaging Australia

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Celebrities used the Golden Globes to demand action against climate change while highlighting the devastating wildfires ravaging Australia.

More than 20 people have been killed while there are also claims nearly 500 million birds, reptiles and mammals have died in the blazes.

During Sunday’s Golden Globes, stars including Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix and Cate Blanchett demanded action against climate change.

Crowe, a New Zealander who lives in Australia, won an award on the night but did not travel to Los Angeles, instead choosing to stay home and make sure his family was safe.

The actor sent a message which was read out on stage by Jennifer Aniston.

It said: “Make no mistake, the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change-based. We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is.

“That way, we all have a future. Thank you.”

Australian-born Blanchett took to the stage and thanked those who had highlighted the fires.

At the Golden Globes, Cate Blanchett highlighted the plight of Australia as her native country is devastated by wildfires (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The 50-year-old said: “I just want to amplify that by saying, I wanted to do a special call out to the volunteer firefighters who have been at the centre of battling the climate disaster that is facing Australia.”

She added: “When one country faces a climate disaster, we all face a climate disaster.”

Nicole Kidman, who reportedly broke down in tears on the red carpet before the ceremony, thanked everyone for their “incredible support” as her native country was “under enormous stress and duress” with the fires.

Her husband, Keith Urban, added: “There’s a lot of people who have lost so much down there already and there’s more to come, too. We’re not out of the woods; this is just really the beginning of summer. But people are doing amazing work down there. We want to thank everyone who’s been working so hard.”

Joaquin Phoenix demanded action from Hollywood stars in the face of the climate crisis (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

After winning one of the biggest awards of the night – best actor in a drama – Joker star Phoenix delivered a powerful speech demanding change from Hollywood.

After praising the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for going meat-free for this year’s Golden Globes, he said: “Contrary to popular belief, I don’t want to rock the boat, but the boat is f***ed.

“It’s really nice that so many people have come up and sent their well wishes to Australia but we have to do more than that.

“It’s such a beautiful gesture and I have not always been a virtuous man. I’m learning so much and so many in this room have given me multiple opportunities to get it right and I’m deeply grateful, but hopefully together we can get unified and make some changes.

“It’s great to vote but sometimes we have to take the responsibility and make changes in our own life.

“We don’t have to take private jets to Palm Springs to the awards sometimes.”

Phoebe Waller-Bridge won two awards on the night and, speaking to reporters backstage, revealed she was going to auction off the Ralph & Russo couture suit she wore for the Golden Globes, with the proceeds going towards the aid effort in Australia.

Patricia Arquette, another winner, used her acceptance speech to highlight Australia’s plight while former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan also shared his best wishes, telling Australia “stay strong. We’re with you, God bless.”