A few days ago, Joaquin Phoenix won the best actor’s award for Joker at BAFTA Awards 2020. During his acceptance speech, he talked about inequality and ‘systematic racism’ in Hollywood. While his performance in Joker is getting him awards, Joaquin Phoenix is using this opportunity to highlight the important issues.
With the release of Joker, Joaquin Phoenix became a household name
Although Joaquin Phoenix has been working in films since 1986, his latest film, Joker, has brought him to the front row. Initially, some people doubted whether Joaquin Phoenix could compete with Heath Ledger’s Joker. However, he proved everyone wrong and exceeded all expectations with his stellar performance. People could not help but appreciate his performance and showered their praise on him. Not only that, Joaquin Phoenix has a long list of awards to his name this year.
Among others, he bagged the best actor’s awards at BAFTA Awards 2020
When the nominees were announced for BAFTA, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Joaquin Phoenix would not be nominated. And as expected, his name shone on the list. Other immensely talented nominees were Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver, Taron Egerton, and Jonathan Pryce. Eventually, Joaquin Phoenix came out victorious.
In his speech, he pointed out a crucial issue in Hollywood
He expressed his gratitude and appreciation for winning the award. Joaquin Phoenix mentioned racism and discrimination against people of color. He said:
I think that we send a very clear message to people of color that you’re not welcome here. These people have contributed so much to our medium and our industry and in ways that we benefit from. I don’t think anybody wants a handout or preferential treatment – although that’s what we give ourselves every year. People just want to be acknowledged, appreciated and respected for their work.
Furthermore, he said:
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.
Lulu Wang and Viola Davis applauded Joaquin Phoenix for his speech.
His speech was not only applauded by the audience, but people all over the world also took to social media to express their appreciation. Among those were The Farewell director, Lulu Wang, and American actress, Viola Davis.
An uncomfortable silence filled the hall for a long noticeable moment. Thank you Joaquin.
— Lulu Wang (@thumbelulu) February 2, 2020
While his speech is commendable, the change will not come overnight. More influential people need to speak up and give equal opportunities to people of color.