Joaquin Phoenix calls out the lack of diversity at the 2020 BAFTAs after the #BAFTAsSoWhite controversy made headlines.
The Joker star had earlier used his Golden Globes Best Actor acceptance speech to spread awareness about climate change, especially the Australian bushfires, which made headlines as he asked celebrities to stop using “private jets” to go to “Palm Springs”. This time, Phoenix made sure to address the lack of diversity in his acceptance speech at the 2020 EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, February 2nd held at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England.
The Oscar-nominee and BAFTAs LeadingActor award recipient started his acceptance speech saying, “The BAFTAS have already been very supportive of my career and I’m deeply appreciative. But I have to say I also feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving, don’t have that same privilege. I think we send a very clear message to people of color that you’re not welcome here. I think that’s the message that we’re sending to people that have contributed so much to our medium and our industry and in ways that we benefit from.”
“I don’t think anybody wants a handout or preferential treatment; people just want to be acknowledged, appreciated and respected for their work. This is not a self-righteous condemnation. I’m part of the problem. I have not done everything in my power to ensure that the sets I work on are inclusive. but I think it’s more than just having sets that are multicultural,” he continued.
“We have to do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism. I think it is the obligation of the people that have created and perpetuate and benefit from a system of oppression to be the ones that dismantle it. That’s on us.”
Phoenix was not the only one to call out the BAFTAs, in fact, Prince William – BAFTAs President took an opportunity to address the lack of diversity in the nominations as well.