Hollywood star Joaquin Phoenix has been praised for calling “systemic racism” for the film industry at the British Academy Film Awards.
The actor received the best actor award for The joker on Sunday and used his speech to criticize the lack of diversity among the creators and artists nominated in this awards season.
He said he was honored to be appreciated but in conflict at the same time because many deserving actors do not enjoy the same privilege as him.
“I think we send a very clear message to people of color who are not welcome here. I think that is the message we are sending to people who have contributed to both our environment and our industry and the ways in which we benefit.” said Joaquin.
He added: “This is not a condemnation of my own justice because I am ashamed to say that I am part of the problem. I have not done my best to make sure that the sets I was in are inclusive.”
Actress Viola Davis and director Lulu Wang praised him on social media for taking a position.
The winner of the Bafta 2017 award for her role in Fences, He thanked Joaquin for his “honesty, solidarity and courage.”
Thanks Joaquin Phoenix. For your honesty, solidarity and courage. Well done 🤜🏿🤜🏿👏🏿👏🏿❤️#GreatBAFTAspeech https://t.co/MXrwmn1JX3
– Viola Davis (@violadavis) February 3, 2020
Director Lulu Wang whose movie The farewell He was nominated for the best movie that was not in English. He was present at the London ceremony and said “silence filled the room” after Joaquin’s speech.
An awkward silence filled the hall for a long remarkable moment. Thanks Joaquin
– Lulu Wang (@thumbelulu) February 2, 2020
Other figures from the film and television industries also praised the actor for speaking.
This year, the awards were heavily criticized after no color actors were included in any of the main acting categories, and no women were nominated in the best director category.