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3 Feb, 2020 16:08

‘I’m part of the problem’: Joker star rants about ‘systemic racism’ at BAFTAS

‘I’m part of the problem’: Joker star rants about ‘systemic racism’ at BAFTAS

While most eyeballs were on the Super Bowl Sunday night, celebrities continued the trend of virtue signaling at Hollywood award shows, this time at the 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’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.

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“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.

“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.

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.

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