WATCH: Joaquin Phoenix uses BAFTAs acceptance speech to criticise "systemic racism" in film industry

3 February 2020, 11:15 | Updated: 3 February 2020, 11:17

The Joker star won the Leading Actor gong, and used his acceptance speech to talk about "systemic racism" in the film industry.

Joaquin Phoenix took home the BAFTA for Leading Actor on Sunday (2 February), and used it as an opportunity to criticise the lack of diversity in the awards' nominations.

The Hollywood actor - who took home the top prize for his role in JOKER - beat the likes of Leonardo Di Caprio (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood) and Adam Driver (Marriage Story) to take home the prestigious prize.

Speaking to the crowds at the ceremony, which took place at London's Royal Albert Hall, Phoenix said: "I feel very honoured and privileged to be here tonight. BAFTAs have always been very supportive of my career and I'm deeply appreciative."

Watch a clip of his acceptance speech above.

He added: "But I have to say that I also feel conflicted, because so many of my fellow actors who are deserving don't have that same privilege.

"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 that have contributed so much to our medium and our industry and in ways that we benefit from.

"I don't think anybody wants a handout or preferential treatment - although that's what we give ourselves every year. People just want to be acknowledged, appreciated and respected for their work.

Joaquin Phoenix attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020
Joaquin Phoenix attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020. Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

The Walk The Line actor added: "This is not a self-righteous condemnation because I'm ashamed to say that I'm part of the problem. I have not done everything in my power to ensure that the sets I was on are inclusive.

"But I think it's more than just having sets that are multi-cultural. We have to do really 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."

Watch his full speech here:

Elsewhere, 1917 was the big winner of the night. With the WWI film picking up the gong for Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Director (Sam Mendes), Production Design, Sound and Special Visual Effects.

Renee Zellweger took home the award for Leading Actress award for her role in Judy, while Brad Pitt took home the Supporting Actor award for his role in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.

Pitt used his acceptance speech - which was read by Margot Robbie - as an opportunity to crack a joke about Britain being single.

Watch it here:

See the full list of winners at the 2020 BAFTAs:

BEST FILM

1917 – Pippa Harris, Callum McDougall, Sam Mendes, Jayne-Ann Tenggren

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

1917 – Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Callum McDougall, Jayne-Ann Tenggren, Krysty Wilson-Cairns

LEADING ACTRESS

RENÉE ZELLWEGER – Judy

LEADING ACTOR

JOAQUIN PHOENIX – Joker

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

LAURA DERN – Marriage Story

SUPPORTING ACTOR

BRAD PITT – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER

BAIT - Mark Jenkin (Writer/Director), Kate Byers, Linn Waite (Producers)

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

PARASITE – Bong Joon-ho

DOCUMENTARY

FOR SAMA – Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

ANIMATED FILM

KLAUS – Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh

DIRECTOR

1917 – Sam Mendes

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

PARASITE – Han Jin Won, Bong Joon-ho

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

JOJO RABBIT – Taika Waititi

ORIGINAL SCORE

JOKER – Hildur Guđnadóttir – WINNER

CASTING

JOKER – Shayna Markowitz

CINEMATOGRAPHY

1917 – Roger Deakins

EDITING

LE MANS ’66 – Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker

PRODUCTION DESIGN

1917 – Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales

COSTUME DESIGN

LITTLE WOMEN – Jacqueline Durran

MAKE UP & HAIR

BOMBSHELL – Vivian Baker, Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan

SOUND

1917 – Scott Millan, Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate, Mark Taylor, Stuart Wilson

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS

1917 – Greg Butler, Guillaume Rocheron, Dominic Tuohy –

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION

GRANDAD WAS A ROMANTIC. – Maryam Mohajer

BRITISH SHORT FILM

LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU’RE A GIRL) – Carol Dysinger, Elena Andreicheva

EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)

MICHEAL WARD

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