BAFTA 2020: Joaquin Phoenix’s Speech Against Ongoing Racism

Culture – Joaquin Phoenix won, Sunday, February 2, during the British Film Awards in London, the BAFTA Award for Best Actor for his role in the movie “Joker”.

The 45-year-old American actor received a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for the role, ahead of Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”), Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”) and Jonathan Pryce. (“The Two Popes”) and Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”).

As you can see in our video at the top of the articlethe actor used his acceptance speech to address the stark absence of color nominees at the ceremony which, like the Academy Awards, has been widely criticized for its lack of variety.

The winner first said he was “grateful” but quickly made it clear that he was embarrassed to accept this trophy when some of his brothers and sisters were not as privileged as him.

“We’re sending a very clear message to people of color that you are not welcome here,” he said, calling for “the hard work to be done to truly understand systemic racism.”

Nobody wants special treatment. I think everyone wants to be appreciated and respected for the work they do. I am not giving you a moral speech. I am ashamed to say that I am part of the problem. I didn’t do everything to make sure the photos I worked on were as diverse as possible.”

I think it is up to those who created, persisted, and took advantage of the system of oppression to dismantle it. It’s up to us to do that,” Joaquin Phoenix ended the applause that broke the complete calm that pervaded the room.


Ahead of the ceremony, Bafta chair Pippa Harris herself denounced the absence of women’s nominations in the Best Director category, while they “represent the future of the industry”, calling it “outrageous” and “disappointing” that there are no blacks. The actors are named within the main categories.

She promised a “widespread review”, which would “consider everything related to the awarding process”, despite judging it was an “industry-wide problem” for cinema, for which awards are only the last degree.

Critics began to thrive in early January on social networks, in part under the hashtag #BaftaSoWhite (“Bafta so white”). Then they found an important spokesperson in the person of Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen, denouncing “highly neglected black talent” in The Guardian.

See also on The HuffPost: Joaquin Phoenix arrested at Jane Fonda ‘illegal’ protest

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