Joaquin Phoenix arrives at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) at the Royal Albert Hall in London.(REUTERS)
Joaquin Phoenix arrives at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) at the Royal Albert Hall in London.(REUTERS)

Joaquin Phoenix at BAFTAs: ‘I have not done everything in my power to ensure stuff that I worked on are inclusive’

Joaquin Phoenix gave an honest and important message about inclusivity and systematic racism in Hollywood in his Leading Actor acceptance speech at BAFTAs.
Indo Asian News Service, London | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON FEB 03, 2020 03:34 PM IST

Actor Joaquin Phoenix felt “conflicted” about his win at the 2020 British Academy of Film and Television Film Awards (BAFTAs) as he took the stage to condemn “systemic racism” in his acceptance speech. The 45-year-old actor on Sunday won the award for Best Leading actor for Joker, but took the opportunity to address the lack of diversity in the entertainment industry, reports Daily Mail.

“I feel very honoured and privileged to be here tonight. BAFTAs have always been very supportive of my career and I’m deeply appreciative. But I hate to say I also feel conflicted, because so many of my fellow actors don’t have that same privilege. I think we send a very clear message to people of colour that you’re not welcome here,” he said.

 

“I think that’s the message we have contributed so much to our medium and our industry. I don’t think anybody wants a handout or preferential treatment, this is not a self-righteous condemnation. I have not done everything in my power to ensure the stuff that I worked on are inclusive. We have to do the hard to work to truly understand systemic racism. I think that it is the obligation of the people that have created and perpetuated and benefited from the system of oppression that dismantle it, and that’s on us. Thank you,” he added.

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After making his speech, and receiving a round of applause, the actor initially left the podium without his award, and had to be called back to take it with him.

This year, Hollywood films Joker, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and The Irishman leading the nomination pack at the 2020 British Academy of Film and Televisions Film Awards (BAFTAs) sparked off criticism that the British film awards lack diversity in its main acting categories.

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