Australian fires keep Russell Crowe from picking up his Golden Globe

"Make no mistake," Crowe said. "The tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change based."

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Jackson Ryan was CNET's science editor, and a multiple award-winning one at that. Earlier, he'd been a scientist, but he realized he wasn't very happy sitting at a lab bench all day. Science writing, he realized, was the best job in the world -- it let him tell stories about space, the planet, climate change and the people working at the frontiers of human knowledge. He also owns a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters.
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Russell Crowe used his Golden Globe win to raise awareness about the devastating Australian fires.

Getty/Stephane Cardinale-Corbis

Australian actor Russell Crowe missed one of Hollywood's biggest award shows this year. Instead of attending the 2020 Golden Globes, he's back in Australia protecting his family and rural properties from the devastating fires currently ravaging the country

Early in the evening, Crowe picked up the Golden Globe for "Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture made for Television" thanks to his starring role as Fox News chairman Roger Ailes in The Loudest Voice.

Though he was not present, he sent a speech to be read in case of his win. Jennifer Aniston, who presented the award, read the statement in his absence. 

"Make no mistake," the statement began, "the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change based. We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is. That way, we all have a future. Thank you."

Russell Crowe wasn't the only one. Upon accepting the Carol Burnett award, Ellen DeGeneres made mention of the Australian bushfires, Pierce Brosnan and Patricia Arquette also mentioned the fires onstage.

The fires in Australia have burnt over 15 million acres of bush (about twice the size of Belgium), destroyed thousands of homes and killed at least 21 people.

Later in the evening, Australian-born actress Cate Blanchett thanked those at the Globes for raising awareness of the fires, shouting out the volunteer firefighters battling the blazes. 

"I just wanted to ... do a special call out to the volunteer firefighters who have been at the center of battling the climate disaster that is facing Australia," Blanchett said.

"Of course, when one country faces a climate disaster, we all face a climate disaster -- so we're in it together."

Phoebe Waller-Bridge mentioned she would be auctioning off her suit to raise money for the relief efforts during an interview shortly after accepting Golden Globe for Best Television Series -- Musical or Comedy.

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Originally published Jan. 5, 5:36 p.m. PT. 
Correction Jan. 5, 6:58 p.m. PT: This article originally stated Australian fires burnt over 15 million hectares. The actual measurement is acres.