BAFTA Awards 2020: Joaquin Phoenix gives a poignant speech about industry's lack of diversity post his Best Actor win for 'Joker'


Joaquin Phoenix's Joker tells the story of the popular DC supervillain of the same name. The film traces the protagonist's early life as Arthur Fleck (essayed by Phoenix), who is an aspiring stand-up comedian struggling to make ends meet and constantly derided by society. The film narrates how circumstances push Fleck into the path of crime after he fails to find his way in Gotham's fractured society. The Todd Phillips directorial has already become an award-season favourite.

Now yet again, Joaquin took home an award for Best Actor for Joker at British Academy Film Awards on Sunday. After his win, Joaquin gave a powerful speech and called out film industry's 'systemic racism'. “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 said on stage, adding, “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.”

RECOMMENDED READ: BAFTA Film Awards 2020: Sam Mendes' war drama '1917' wins Best Film; Joaquin Phoenix takes home yet another award for 'Joker'

“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,” Joaquin continued.

He concluded by saying, “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 Warner Bros. project has become the highest-grossing R-rated filn of all time, and a follow-up to film is also in the works.

(Source: Deadline)