Whether it's the Grammys, Emmys, Globes or Oscars, the scene is always the same. After winning an award, almost every entertainer gets on stage and recites these words..."I'd like to thank God!"
Thanking God has somehow made its way into our society's book of manners, but God was noticeably absent at the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday and barely received a mention from the Oscars' top winners.
With the fanfare of red carpets and the pressure to thank anyone and everyone, the Supreme Being can sometimes be forgotten, which was almost the case at the movie industry's biggest night.
Jared Leto who took home the first award of the evening, a Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a transsexual combating AIDS, in the film "Dallas Buyers Club" had a huge list of people to thank for his accolade. They included the Academy of Motion Pictures, his mother, brother, cast members and the film's distributor Focus Features. Backstage, it concluded as the charismatic singer/actor told reporters he forgot to thank his publicist. Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón who received the Best Director statuette for "Gravity," a film which took no fewer than seven Oscars, including the Best Editing award thanked the Academy, his crew and family, but there was no gratuitous thank you to God. Steve McQueen whose movie "12 Years a Slave" received the main accolade of the evening, a Best Picture Oscar, requested an additional minute to thank a long list of supporters. Pulling out a crumpled piece of paper with a list of acknowledgements, the British director who appeared extremely nervous thanked his mother, father, the Academy, the Queen, his cast and crew, the film's producers Brad Pitt, Fox Searchlight, his publicist and agents. Backstage, he admitted he didn't get through his entire list and missed a few including God. Best Supporting Actress winner Lupita Nyong'o thanked her family and the Yale School of Drama, while Best Actress winner Cate Blanchett thanked her mum, sister, brother, her kids and "Blue Jasmine" director Woody Allen for her Oscar win.
Halfway through the show, Darlene Love, the 72-year-old entertainer who is featured in the winning documentary "20 Feet from Stardom," a movie which examines up and coming entertainers that rose to prominence in the '60s, became the first entertainer to acknowledge God. The background singer who took to the stage with filmmakers Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers to accept the accolade, praised God before belting out "His Eye Is A Sparrow" as the crowd cheered.
It's a typical occurrence for thank-you speeches to include an acknowledgement to God at these annual fetes, but as more golden statuettes were handed out during the three hour telecast, it became obvious that God was not going to be mentioned in any winner's acceptance speech until Matthew McConaughey took to the podium. McConaughey who received the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of an AIDS victim in the film "Dallas Buyers Club" was the only Oscar winner to thank God. Rather than thank his manager, agent or publicist, the actor who won his first career Oscar thanked his cast mates, fellow nominees and God.
"There are three things that I need each day," said the actor as he clutched his Oscar. "One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase. Now, first off, I want to thank God. 'Cause that's who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are 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 Laughton, who said, "When you've got God, you got a friend. And that friend is you."
Hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, the Oscars were held at Hollywood's Dolby Theater in Hollywood CA.