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Jessica Chastain delivers serious speech about Hollywood's diversity problem (VIDEO)

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

We love what Jessica Chastain said about racism, homophobia in Hollywood

Accepting the first-ever Critics' Choice MVP Award, Jessica Chastain proved she's every bit deserving of the honor by using her acceptance speech to champion against hatred and bigotry.

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Chastain received the honor thanks to her incredible body of work in the short seven years she has been in the industry, particularly the four big films she starred in during 2014: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, Miss Julie, Interstellar and A Most Violent Year.

But, in a classy and humble move, the star devoted her speech to others.

"Sometimes as actors, we are the ones who get heaped with the praise, and there are so many people that are equally deserving," she said before giving credit to her incredible team.

Then Chastain did something even more stirring. She spoke up.

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"Today is Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, so it got me thinking about our need to build the strength of diversity in our industry," she said as stars like Oprah and Julianne Moore nodded in approval, "and to stand together against the homophobic, sexist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic and racist agendas."

Chastain wrapped her speech with a call to arms. "I'm an optimist, and I can't help but feel hopeful about the future of film — especially looking at all these beautiful people in this room," she confessed.

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"Martin Luther King, Jr. said, 'Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.' And I would like to encourage everyone in this room to please speak up."

Can we get a hear, hear?

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