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‘1917,’ ‘Joker’ Dominate 2020 BAFTA Awards

Winner Joaquin Phoenix called for more diversity during his acceptance speech

Joaquin Phoenix wins the BAFTA for Leading Actor.

James Veysey/BAFTA/Shutterstock

Sam Mendes’ World War I film 1917 topped the 2020 BAFTA Awards last night in London. The film was named Best Film and Best British Film, and also earned awards for Director, Cinematography, Production Design, Sound and Special Visual Effects.

Joker took home three trophies, including Leading Actor for Joaquin Phoenix and Original Score for Hildur Guðnadóttir, while Parasite won Film Not in the English Language and Original Screenplay. The acting categories were predictable, with Renée Zellweger winning Leading Actress for Judy, Brad Pitt winning Supporting Actor for Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and Laura Dern winning Supporting Actress for Marriage Story.

During his acceptance speech, Phoenix used the opportunity to address the lack of diversity in the nominees at the BAFTAs this year. “The BAFTAs have already been very supportive of my career and I’m deeply appreciative,” Phoenix said when he took the stage at Royal Albert Hall. “But I have to say I also feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have that same privilege. I think that we send a very clear message to people of color that you’re not welcome here.”

He added, “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 work on are inclusive.”

Rebel Wilson, who presented the award for Best Director, also commented on the lack of female filmmakers in the category. “I look at the exceptional, daring talent nominated in this category and I don’t think I could do what they do,” Wilson quipped before announcing the all-male nominees. “Honestly, I just don’t have the balls.”

As Pitt couldn’t attend the awards show in London, his co-star Margot Robbie accepted his trophy, reading out a pre-written speech by the actor. “Hey Britain, heard you just became single, welcome to the club,” Robbie read on behalf of Pitt. “Wishing you the best with the divorce settlement.” She added, “He says he is going to name this Harry because he is really excited about bringing it back to the States with him. His words, not mine.”

A full list of BAFTA winners is available here.