Joaquin Phoenix is taking full responsibility for failing to do “everything in my power to ensure” inclusivity on-set. The critically acclaimed actor’s remarks came during his acceptance speech at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs). The annual awards show received a significant amount of criticism for its nominations dominated by white male figures.
Lack of diversity has been a loud discussion throughout the awards season, and UK’s BAFTAs was no exemption from the topic. Phoenix made sure to take a swing at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts over the issue of inclusivity or the lack thereof. In his acceptance speech for the Best Actor award, the 45-year-old said that he felt “conflicted” over his win “because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have that same privilege.”
Candidly speaking, the “Joker” star went on to say that “I think that we send a very clear message to people of color that you’re not welcome here.”
He addressed the crowd at London’s Royal Albert hall acknowledging the contributions of people of color in film and the entertainment industry. Phoenix went another step further by admitting his own shortcomings in promoting diversity in film. “This is not a self-righteous condemnation because I’m ashamed to say that I’m part of the problem,” he said.
“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 actor added.
Phoenix is consistently trailblazing through this year’s awards season thanks to his performance as Arthur Fleck in the film, “Joker.”