Joaquin Phoenix isn’t known for mince words. On the stage of Royal Albert Hall on Sunday, February 2, the joker star took a stand against systemic racism which plagues the world of cinema.
Joaquin Phoenix’s speech against racism
The Bafta ceremony took place in London on February 2. After the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, actor Joaquin Phoenix again won the Best Actor award.
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Going on stage to collect his prize, the Joker actor decided to take a stand for a more inclusive cinema. After thanking the Bafta for the award, he said he felt uncomfortable.
“A lot of deserving actors don’t have that same privilege. We send a clear message to people of color that they are not welcome. We tell them that, when they contribute so much to cinema, and that we also benefit… I’m not condemning you, I’m ashamed to be part of the problem too. I could do more to ensure that my films are inclusive. But it’s not just on set. ‘we really understand what systemic racism is… It’s the responsibility of those who created and benefited from a system of oppression, to destroy it. That’s our role.’
His two-minute speech ended with applause from the audience.
The #BaftaSoWhite controversy
Joaquin Pheonix’s speech is not insignificant. It follows a controversy rumbling backstage at the ceremony. Indeed, no black actor has been nominated in the main categories this year. A viral hashtag was even born when the nominations were announced on social networks: #BaftaSoWhite.
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And when it comes to inclusiveness and sexism in film, it’s the same problem. None female director was also nominated this year in the major categories. A lack that did not fail to underline with humor theactress Rebel Wilson came to present the award for best director. “When I see all these great directors, I think I could never have accomplished what they did. I just don’t have what is needed where it is needed.”
The Bafta President Pippa Harris said she would carefully review the process for selecting and awarding the prizes next year.
If he wins the Oscar for Best Actor for the role of Joker, Joaquin Phoenix should probably take a stand on stage again. The Oscar ceremony is under the fire of the same similar controversy concerning the lack of inclusiveness.
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Joaquin Phoenix’s powerful speech at the Bafta on racism in cinema