Joker Star Joaquin Phoenix Named PETA Person of the Year

It's been quite a year for Oscar-nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix. Back in October, Todd Phillips' Joker launched in theaters around the world and broke several records throughout its run at the box office. The film eventually became the highest-grossing rated R film in history, surpassing both Deadpool movies, and launched Phoenix right into the thick of the Best Actor race at this year's Academy Awards. Now, as Joker's theatrical run is coming to an end, Phoenix is being recognized as Person of the Year by PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

On Monday morning, THR revealed that Phoenix had been named as PETA's 2019 Person of the Year. For those who have followed Phoenix's career closely this award likely comes as no surprise. He has often worked with the organization and has been a vegan since he was three years old.

This year, Phoenix appeared on PETA's "We Are All Animals" billboards in Times Square in New York City and on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, which promoted a legislation that would ban traveling wild-animal circuses. He also led a memorial service at the National Animal Rights Day March and executive produced a documentary called The Animal People, about animal rights activists that fight against powerful industries.

Phoenix's partnership with PETA goes even further than billboards, as he works on campaigns against dog leather, exotic skins fishing, and the turkey industry.

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"Joaquin Phoenix never misses an opportunity to turn the spotlight away from himself and onto animals' plight and to set a great example of walking the vegan walk," PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement.

An Oscar nomination for Phoenix for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck in Joker would be his fourth at the ceremony throughout his career. His first came in 2001 for Best Supporting Actor after his work in Gladiator. He later scored Best Actor nods for his roles in Walk the Line and The Master.