BAFTA 2020 was a starry affair as we saw the who’s who of the Hollywood industry gather to celebrate films. Joker star Joaquin Phoenix who has been bagging several awards for his performance in the film was also present at the event. The actor won the best actor BAFTA for his titular role in Joker but was not very happy while receiving it.
Joaquin Phoenix was upset as the British Academy Of Film And Television had overlooked “people of colour” in its nominations. While giving his acceptance speech, the actor urged the industry to undo this “system of oppression” and have fair nominations as he felt “conflicted” taking away the award as there are many deserving fellow actors that didn’t have same privileges as he did.
He said, “I think that we send a very clear message to people of colour 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.”
Joaquin called himself a part of the problem and said that rather than creating a diverse working environment, the issue at hand is to understand the “systemic” racism. “I don’t think anybody wants a handout or preferential treatment, although that’s what we give ourselves every year. I think people just want to be acknowledged, appreciated and respected for their work. This is not a self-righteous condemnation because I’m ashamed to say that I’m part of the problem,” Phoenix said.
He concluded, “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. 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. So that’s on us.”
The British Academy Of Film And Television Arts Awards (BAFTA) took place in London last night. The awards night turned out to be glorious for Sam Mendes directorial 1917. The film dominated all the major categories as it took home 7 awards. Parasite was named the best foreign-language film as well.