Joaquin Phoenix has been known to speak up about the pressing matters in the entertainment industry and environmental issues. During the BAFTA acceptance speech for Best Actor, he spoke about the unsettling all-white line up for nominees and lack of female directors in Best Director category.
The lack of diversity at BAFTA also led to #BAFTAsowhite trending on social media platforms. The issue was also addressed during the awards as host Graham Norton and awards presenter Rebel Wilson dissed at the lack of diversity being celebrated.
Towards the end of the ceremony when Joaquin Phoenix accepted his award for Best Actor he took the time to address the issues seriously. He went on to say, "I feel very honoured and privileged to be here tonight and BAFTA has always been very supportive of my career, and I am deeply appreciative. But I also have to say that I also feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that 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 also added, "I don't think anybody wants a handout or preferential treatment. People just want to be acknowledged and appreciated and respected for their work."
He also confessed of feeling ashamed as he is part of the problem, "because I've not ensured that the sets I've worked on are inclusive. But I think it is 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, perpetuated and benefited from a system of oppression to be the one to dismantle it. So that's on us."
The speech met with an awkward silence through the speech from the audience, but on completion, the entire crowd cheered and hailed for the actor, who decided to speak up candidly on such a huge platform.
Last month, Joaquin also opened up about the need to fight for the environment and called out the hypocrisy of the industry during his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes 2020. However, mid-speech the organisers played music asking him to wrap up the speech.
Joaquin's efforts have been highly appreciated by the industry mates as well as fans worldwide. He reportedly spent the morning before BAFTA, campaigning for a meat-free world with protesters on Tower Bridge in London. He is also a front runner for Best Actors Award for the 92nd Academy Awards (Oscar 2020) to be held within a week.