Actor Tim Robbins was stunned to learn people were expecting him to make a political statement at this year's (04) ACADEMY AWARDS - because he's only ever spoken out at the ceremony once.

Robbins, who picked up an OSCAR for his efforts in Mystic River, and his longtime love Susan Sarandon are famously outspoken on political issues. And their reputation sparked expectations of a public rant from Robbins when he accepted his award.

He says, "It's an assumption that is erroneous, because in the course of the 15 years that I've been doing this, we did one thing in 1993 at the Oscars.

"I got to thinking before the Oscars, 'Should I say something about Iraq, should I not?' And then I realised what we had done in '93 wasn't really a political statement, as much as it was a plea to close down an internment camp for patients that had tested positive for HIV. They were locked up because they had tested positive for HIV. So appealing to the (former American President BILL) CLINTON administration to close that down, you could say it's a politic act, it could also be considered a humanitarian act.

"I got to thinking, 'What can I say that would best serve as many people as possible and how does it relate to the movie?' Since the movie is essentially about violence and how it comes out our abuse, I thought it would be the best and most responsible use of that time would be to appeal to people that are abused to seek help."

01/04/2004 09:01