Joaquin Phoenix came wearing the Stella McCartney suit to accept his first-ever academy awards. Made of sustainable materials Phoenix vowed to wear it to every award function he attends. There you have the real Joaquin Phoenix who lives the changes he demands.
Joaquin was excellent in his performance as the Joker yet it was his piercing, on the face acceptance speech at the Bafta awards that was the highlight of the evening. The Bafta awards have an ongoing tradition of not including people of color. This year was no exception either.
At the awards, diversity has been called for the longest time. Yet nothing has really changed. The award nomination line up for this year was “all-white”. The blatant and glaring lack of diversity in the awards was so hard-hitting that Prince Williams, Head of Bafta awards, had to step in to speak on the fact.
Joaquin Phoenix’s speech summed the essence of what was happening, concisely, precisely and in the aptest words. He opened his speech saying he is grateful for what he is receiving yet he stated that he was conflicted. His next sentence hit the nail on the head when he said that “I think we are sending a very clear message that people of color are not welcome here”. This clearly made many uncomfortable.
Phoenix went on to accept that he was also a part of the problem because he has not done all that needs to be done to make such awards all-inclusive.
He termed the systematic exclusion of the people of color as systematic racism. He also added that people who created this divide must be the ones to dismantle it too.
Phoenix is a man who knows what it takes to do something in reality. He has spoken about climate changes so what did he do make a difference? He gave up on his private jet.
When Phoenix said that the awards need to be all-inclusive he meant it. He hires talented people of color to work with them.
At one point in time, Joaquin also talked about the cruelty involved in artificially inseminating a cow, and then taking away her calf from her so that we can use the milk meant for the calf to be used in our coffee and cereals. Therefore, he swore off cow’s milk.
Joaquin Phoenix is a man of character. He was oddly looked out of place on the stage but when he spoke everyone listened.