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Mark Ruffalo: His Emotional Speech During The 72nd Emmys on Diversity

By: Brook Farley

During the 72nd Emmy Awards, Actor Mark Ruffalo won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. He starred in the limited series “I Know This Much Is True.” The story, at its core, is about family and forgiveness. Ruffalo himself is a family man, and his love and shone through his acceptance speech. Ruffalo was born in Kenosha, Wis., U.S.A., to parents Marie and Frank. His father was from Girifalco, Italy and his mother of French-Canadian descent. In his early teens, his family relocated to Virginia, U.S.A. 

Mark Ruffalo in a dark suit at the Avengers primere

Mark Ruffalo’s Hidden Diversity

At first glance, Mark Ruffalo portrays a generic white male living in the United States in 2020. However, when one digs below the surface into his past, they will see hidden diversity in his roots. Having a father from Italy (and a mother of French-Canadian descent) shaped Ruffalo’s experiences differently than having two native Wisconsin parents.

During his childhood, his globally mobile parents brought cultures from different countries into the household. One could also argue that the cultural contrasts between Wisconsin and Virginia are vast as well. Both of these factors created the man Ruffalo has become. His hidden diversity created the man that portrayed the Hulk in Marvel’s “Avenger’s,” and the man who gave a well-crafted Emmy’s speech. 

His Moving Speech

Ruffalo’s speech started as all award show speeches do, with gratitude to the audience and peers. He continued with a more personal anecdote and gave the audience a glance into the man behind the Hulk. “How are we going to deal, and honor, and take care of each other and our most vulnerable people,” he asks. “If you have privilege, you have to fight for those who are less fortunate and more vulnerable.” His remarks show a diverse man who understands different walks of life. 

Mark Ruffalo in a suit at a red carpet premiere with an Blonde female actor in white.

How are we going to deal, and honor, and take care of each other and our most vulnerable people,” he asks. “If you have privilege, you have to fight for those who are less fortunate and more vulnerable.- Mark Ruffalo

Ruffalo finishes the speech by commenting on his own family, “That’s what’s great about America, our diversity, and the one thing I’ve learned from my family is that we’re stronger together.”

It gives the audience a glimpse of Ruffalo’s true colors. He’s a man who looks every bit the portrait of the U.S., “boy next door,” and inhabits “the American dream,” yet proves that diversity is not always visible. Ruffalo exemplifies the complex and diverse tapestry we’ve woven and will continue to do so throughout generations to come. 

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