AWARDS-BAFTA/SHOW BAFTAs: Joaquin Phoenix calls out industry on diversity

AWARDS-BAFTA/SHOW BAFTAs: Joaquin Phoenix calls out industry on diversity

VIDEO SHOWS: BAFTA AWARDS CEREMONY, WITH ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES FROM DIRECTOR SAM MENDES, ACTOR JOAQUIN PHOENIX AND OTHER ATTENDEES

STORY: Joaquin Phoenix, voted BAFTA lead actor for his critically acclaimed transformation from vulnerable loner into confident villain in “Joker,” criticised the industry for a lack of diversity in his acceptance speech on Sunday (February 2).

The industry was sending “a very clear message to people of colour that you’re not welcome here,” he said, adding it “was on us” to dismantle a system of oppression.

Britain’s top movie awards have been criticized for having all-white shortlists in its acting categories and an all-male one for director, triggering the use of the hashtag #BaftasSoWhite on social media.

BAFTA boss Amanda Berry had said she was “very disappointed” by the lack of diversity.

First World War drama “1917” was the big winner at the BAFTAs on Sunday, picking up seven awards including best picture and director for Sam Mendes.

The thrilling drama, shot in what appears to be a single take, was also honoured in the outstanding British film, sound, production design, cinematography and special visual effects categories.

Award presenter Rebel Wilson drew the biggest laughs and cheers of the evening when, after reading out the all-male best director list, said: “I don’t think I could do what they do, honestly I just don’t have the balls.”

Actress Scarlett Johansson, who missed out in the leading and supporting actress categories, told Reuters the all-male directing shortlist showed women were being held back and the industry had to be mindful of the issue.

Renee Zellweger beat Johansson to the best actress gong for her portrayal of Judy Garland in “Judy.” The two will go head-to-head again at the Oscars on February 9.

It was a frustrating evening for Netflix’s “The Irishman,” Martin Scorsese’s star-studded gangster drama, which was nominated in 10 categories but left empty handed.

ACTOR, JOAQUIN PHOENIX, SAYING (SOUNDBITE CONTINUES OVER SEVERAL SHOTS OF AUDIENCE MEMBERS WATCHING):

“I feel very honoured and privileged to be here tonight, the BAFTAs have always been very supportive of my career and I’m deeply appreciative. But I have to say that I also feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have that same privilege. I think that we send a very clear message to people of colour that you’re not welcome here, I think that’s the message that we’re sending to people that 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 – I think that people just want to be acknowledged and appreciated and respected for their work. This is not a self-righteous condemnation, because I’m ashamed to say I’m part of the problem, I have not done everything in my power to ensure that the sets I work on are inclusive, but I think that it’s more than just having sets that are multicultural, I think that we have to really do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism. I think that 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.”

Source: BAFTA/BBC ONE
Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment, Film
Source News Feeds: Reuters Marketplace – Raw Video
USN: WDBYX4MKN
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