Joaquin Phoenix’s Speech At BAFTA 2020 Is An Eyeopener, Other Celebrities Applaud His Boldness

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On February 3, 2020, The British Academy Film Awards 2020 (BAFTA) held its 73rd awards ceremony in London. The award show faced major backlash for its lack of diversity and “#BaftasSoWhite” was amongst the most trending hashtags on Twitter.

Apart from social media, BAFTA was criticised during the award night itself. Joaquin Phoenix, the actor who played the role of Joker in the 2019 critically acclaimed movie Joker bagged the award for the Best Actor. However, that was not the key highlight of the award show as the title for that goes to his speech.

During his acceptance speech, he said, “Because so many of my fellow actors who are deserving don’t have that same privilege. We send a very clear message to people of colour that ‘you’re not welcome here”.

He continued by saying, “I don’t think anybody wants a handout or preferential treatment. People just want to be acknowledged and appreciated and respected for their work. I’m ashamed to say that I’m part of the problem, because I’ve not ensured that the sets I’ve worked on are inclusive. We have to do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism. It is the obligation of the people who have created and benefit from the system of oppression to be the ones to dismantle it. So that’s on us”.

Check the video, shared by BAFTA official YouTube channel:

After his speech, not only the entire award show went mum in praise and realisation of how honest he was in his speech and held no punch back. Many celebrities came forward praising the sheer boldness of Joaquin Phoenix.

Director of comedy-drama movie “The Farewell”, Lulu Wang said “An uncomfortable silence filled the hall for a long noticeable moment. Thank you Joaquin” on her Twitter handle.

Jaqueline, Editor at RottenTomatoes says, “Whew, y’all Joaquin Phoenix went so far in on #baftasowhite he walked away without his award. Also, the best part was him admitting that he was part of the problem and saying he (and all of them) had to do better. #BAFTAs” on her Twitter handle.

Voila Davis, best known for her work in “How To Get Away With Murder” also praised Phoenix on his speech, she said “Thank you Joaquin Phoenix. For your honesty, solidarity AND courage. Well done #GreatBAFTAspeech” on her Twitter handle.

Jamil Smith, TV Journalist said “Joaquin Phoenix’s BAFTA speech called out the awards for its historical whiteness — and himself and the industry for complicity with systemic racism, saying it was on white people to dismantle that system from which they benefit. He is correct, of course” vis his Twitter handle.

On the 5th of January, 2020, Joaquin Phoenix won the award for Best Actor at the Golden Globe Awards for Joker held in Beverly Hills.

Do you think what he said was right? Do tell us down in the comments.

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