After Joaquin Phoenix used the platform during his ‘Best Actor’ award acceptance speech for the film Joker to criticize the British Academy and then the Duke of Cambridge also hit out at a lack of diversity this year’s BAFTAs all eyes will be on the upcoming Oscars as they again seem to have mostly ignored films about women and people of a BAME culture.
Phoenix’s comments followed an outcry about the all-white acting nominations line-up at the 73rd Awards event at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
He said: "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 who have contributed so much to our medium and our industry in ways that we’ve benefited from,” Phoenix said.
“I don’t think anyone wants a hand-out or preferential treatment, although that’s what we give ourselves every year. I think people just want to be acknowledged, appreciated and respected for their work.”
In his address Prince William said: “The Academy's voters must stop overlooking Black and Ethnic Minority talent”.
The Price, who is president of the Bafta, added: “It simply cannot be right in this day and age” that film awards have all-white shortlists.
“Both here in the UK and in many other countries around the world, we are lucky to have incredible film-makers, actors, producers and technicians, men and women of all backgrounds and ethnicities enriching our lives through film.
“Yet in 2020, and not for the first time in the last few years, we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more about diversity in the sector and in the awards process. That simply cannot be right in this day and age”.
In concluding his peach, Joaquin Phoenix added: “I have not done everything in my power to ensure that the sets I work on are inclusive, but I think it’s more than just having sets that are multicultural.
“We have to do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism. I think 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”.
This year, all 20 of the acting nominees at the BAFTAs were white.
All eyes, now, will be on next week’s Oscar ceremony.