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BAFTAs: Joaquin Phoenix Calls Out Lack Of Diversity While Accepting Award

The lack of diversity among nominees has been a hot topic ahead of the BAFTAs.

Now, Joaquin Phoenix has taken aim at the award show during his acceptance speech for Best Actor for his role in 'Joker'.

Hitting the stage, the star revealed he felt "conflicted" about receiving the award, saying that "many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have that same privilege".

“I think we send a very clear message to people of colour that you’re not welcome here,” he said.

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“I don’t think anybody wants a handout or preferential treatment, people just want to be acknowledged, appreciated and respected for their work. This is not a self-righteous condemnation. I’m part of the problem,” Phoenix continued.

“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. That’s on us,” he concluded.

The British awards ceremony came under fire upon unveiling its list of nominees, as it featured no non-white actors, and an all-male list of nommed directors.

Phoenix wasn't the only one to point out the lack of multicultural and female nominees -- Prince William, who awarded this year’s BAFTA Fellowship to Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy, also touched on the topic.

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“We find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to address diversity in the sector. That cannot be right in this day and age... BAFTA takes this issue seriously, and following this year’s nominations have launched a full review… to ensure the opportunities are available to everyone,” the Duke of Cambridge said.

Meanwhile, Rebel Wilson, who presented the award Best Director (of which all the nominees were male) made a tongue-in-cheek reference to the lack of female directors, saying, “A look at the exceptional, daring talent nominated in this category. I don’t think I could do what they do. Honestly. I just don’t have the balls.”

The lack of diversity among nominees led to a trending hashtag of #BaftasSoWhite across Twitter after several non-white actors were snubbed, including Jennifer Lopez, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, Awkwafina, who is of Chinese heritage and Lupita Nyong'o, who starred in 'Us'.

Image: Getty