Perhaps he didn’t give this speech, but really, he damned well should have:
Tonight I had the great honor of receiving the Academy Award for Best Actor for my performance in the film Lincoln. It is my immense privilege to receive an Oscar for the third time in my career, especially for portraying such an historic figure. And as I look back on this role, I can only feel deeply honored and humbled for the praise and respect I’ve received, even though I personally believe that Abraham Lincoln was an American traitor who deserved to die.
Honestly, this award truly is a tremendous thrill for me. And the fact that I’m being awarded for portraying a liar, a fraud, and an enemy of justice whose murder was fully justified doesn’t change that.
After all, just because you play a character in a movie doesn’t mean you have to agree with the views and actions of the character you’re portraying. Far from it! In fact, I saw this role as a real actor’s challenge considering my own deeply held belief that Abraham Lincoln was a tyrant and a hypocrite and that the South should have won the war. It has always been my strong opinion that the Confederate forces had a political and moral imperative to defeat the Union army and that America’s 16th president was a monster who deserved to be murdered in front of his wife, so just imagine what a test it was for me to try to humanize this repulsive figure. All of which makes this third Oscar win particularly satisfying.
It still amazes me that no one in the South ever stopped and thought, you know, since Lincoln is about the only one hell-bent on this war, and nearly everyone else seems to accept the Constitutional concept of allowing the various sovereign states to express their self-determination and go their separate ways, how about we shoot him instead of tens of thousands of immigrant German farm boys being forced to fight against us? How is assassinating a single dictator somehow considered out of bounds when the alternative is butchering hundreds of thousands of innocents whose only crime was to get drafted into military service?