Joaquin Phoenix says he’s ‘ashamed’ by all-white acting Baftas
03 Feb 2020
Joaquin Phoenix attends the after show party of the 73rd British Academy Film Awards in London. TNS
Joaquin Phoenix called out the film industry's 'systemic racism' at the British Academy Film Awards (Baftas), which were held on Sunday night.
The actor used his acceptance speech to highlight the damning lack of diversity among the nominated creators and performers during this year’s awards season.
While he stated he was grateful for the Best Actor award, the Joker star added: “I also feel conflicted — we send a very clear message to people of colour that ‘you’re not welcome here.”
The trend “#BaftasSoWhite” dominated Twitter after the announcement of this year’s nominations last month due to a severe lack of diversity and representation across the acting categories.
“I don’t think anybody wants a hand-out or preferential treatment,” he continued. “People just want to be acknowledged and appreciated and respected for their work.
“I’m ashamed to say that I’m part of the problem, because I’ve not ensured that the sets I’ve worked on are inclusive.
“We really have to do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism. I think that it is the obligation of the people who have created and perpetuated and benefited from a system of oppression to dismantle it… so that’s on us.”
The actor received a huge round of applause from the crowd in response to his speech.
Earlier in the evening, Brad Pitt — who won Best Supporting Actor for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — delivered an acceptance speech, via Margot Robbie, that poked fun at Brexit and Prince Harry.