‘I’m part of the problem’: Joker star rants about ‘systemic racism’ at BAFTAS
Racism was on the minds of a handful of celebrities at the award show, including ‘Joker’ star Joaquin Phoenix. The ceremony aired just days before the final Oscar voting ballots are due.
“We have to do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism,” Phoenix said while accepting his award for his work in last year’s hit ‘Joker,’ for which he is also up for a Best Actor Academy Award. “It is the obligation of the people that have created and perpetuated and benefit from a system of oppression to be the ones that dismantle it. That’s on us.”
“I think it is the responsibility of those who benefit from a system of oppression to be the ones who dismantle it.”- Joaquin Phoenixpic.twitter.com/zDMcIriq9y— James Foster (@JamesEFoster) February 3, 2020
“I’m ashamed to say that I’m part of the problem, because I’ve not ensured that the sets I’ve worked on are inclusive," he added.
This came after host Graham Norton made plenty of jokes pointing out the lack of diversity in widely nominated films like ‘Joker,’ ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ and ‘The Irishman.’ Norton described ‘Joker’ as “essentially the story of white man who makes himself even whiter.” He called 2019 the year “white men finally broke through.”
While presenting an award, ‘Cats’ star Rebel Wilson later joked about male nominees, “I don’t think I could do what they do. I just don’t have the balls.”
Comedian Ricky Gervais, who skewered celebrities who make political statements at award shows while hosting this year’s Golden Globes, sarcastically tweeted he was “very proud” of actors calling out the “lack of diversity” in their industry.Also on rt.com Hollywood can't take a joke: Golden Globes hire Fey, Poehler as new hosts and people 'miss Ricky Gervais already’
“Very proud of all these actors calling out the lack of diversity at award shows. I bet if they’d have known the nominations in advance they wouldn’t have even turned up in the hope of winning themselves,” he said.
Very proud of all these actors calling out the lack of diversity at award shows. I bet if they’d have known the nominations in advance they wouldn’t have even turned up in the hope of winning themselves.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) February 3, 2020
Think Joaquin Phoenix’s speech was poorly and inappropriately presented. Very valid points but made it out like there was nothing but racism in the film industry which is not true based on how many ethnic films and actors are winning more and more awards #BAFTAs— Vitamin T (@cjp_mvo) February 3, 2020
“See — a rich man with a gold statue all of a sudden is a voice that should be listened to when he agrees with me,” comedian Allistair Williams added when responding to someone praising Phoenix’s “systemic racism” speech.
See - a rich man with a gold statue all of a sudden is a voice that should be listened to when he agrees with me. https://t.co/3jwtaCKPdT— Alistair Williams (@awilliamscomedy) February 3, 2020
There were still fans of the political moments from the ceremony, especially Phoenix’s dragged out speech. Academy Award-winner Viola Davis was among those celebrating the white man for calling out racism.
Joaquin Phoenix calls out systemic racism in the film industry and awards practices in his acceptance speech. I hope his industry listens to his conclusion: that white people have to dismantle the racist practices that they’ve built and profited from. https://t.co/OqMiSYcasc— viet thanh nguyen (@viet_t_nguyen) February 3, 2020
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