Published Feb 03, 2020Joaquin Phoenix continued his awards season win streak last night (February 2) at the BAFTAs, winning the trophy for Leading Actor for his role in Joker — and he used his acceptance speech to address the "systemic racism" in Hollywood.
Phoenix said he was honoured to receive the award but also "conflicted" by the all-white nominees in his category (and many other categories).
"I think that we send a very clear message to people of colour that 'You're not welcome here,'" he said. "I think that's the message we're sending to people who have contributed so much to our medium and our industry, and in ways that we benefit from."
Phoenix continued, "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 and appreciated and respected for their work."
The actor went on to admit he is "part of the problem," acknowledging "I have not done everything in my power to ensure the sets I work on are inclusive."
Phoenix added there is a lot of hard work to be done to understand and dismantle the "systemic racism" that the film industry is built on, and that "it's on us" — the people who benefit from a system of oppression — to do that.
Watch his full speech below.