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Joaquin Phoenix Slams 'Systemic Racism' at BAFTAs

Joaquin Phoenix slammed “systemic racism” during his acceptance speech for Best Actor in “Joker” at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs) in London on February 2.

The actor said he felt conflicted by his BAFTA win because “so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have the same privilege”.

The British Academy’s president Prince William ensured attendees that the company is doing everything in its power to “ensure that opportunites are available to everyone”.

The British royal spoke about the criticism leveled at the British Academy over the lack of diversity in this year’s nominees.

No women were nominated as best director for the seventh year running, and all 20 nominees in the lead and supporting performer categories were white.

“In 2020, we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity within the sector and in the awards process,” said William. “That simply cannot be right in this day and age. I know that both Pippa, chair of BAFTA, and Amanda, BAFTA CEO, share that frustration and continue to work tirelessly to ensure that creative talent is discovered and supported. BAFTA take this issue seriously and following this year’s nominations have launched a full and thorough review of the entire awards process, to build on their existing work and to ensure that opportunites are available to everyone.”

Awards organizers called it “disappointing” that there were no performers of color among the acting nominees, who are chosen by 6,500 academy members who work in the UK and international film industry.

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