As expected, Joker‘s Joaquin Phoenix won Leading Actor at the EE British Academy Film Awards, but it was his winning speech that left a mark.
Phoenix hit out at the lack of diversity in this year’s nominees—which hasn’t just been a issue at the BAFTAs, but at most of the major award ceremonies this year.
“I feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have that same privilege. I think that we send a very clear message to people of color that you’re not welcome here,” he noted.
“I don’t think anybody wants a handout or preferential treatment, although that’s what we give ourselves every year. I think that people just want to be acknowledged and appreciated and respected for their work.
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“This is not a self-righteous condemnation because I’m ashamed to say that 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 that it’s more than just having sets that are multicultural. I think that we have to really do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism.”
Phoenix concluded: “I think that 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. So that’s on us.”
Joaquin Phoenix accepts his Leading Actor award for his performance in @jokermovie #EEBAFTAs #BAFTAs pic.twitter.com/1nK49CjrJo
With Phoenix all-but guaranteed to win Best Actor at the Oscars, we could expect a similarly powerful speech as the Oscar nominations were also criticized for a lack of diversity.
Phoenix’s win was one of three awards that Joker won at this year’s BAFTAs, with Parasite also taking home two wins.
1917 was the big winner on the night though, winning seven out of the nine awards it was up for, including Best Film, Outstanding British Film and Director for Sam Mendes.
From: Digital Spy
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