BAFTA honchos aren’t laughing at the awards’ glaring tunnel vision.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts – whose 2020 film awards are led by “Joker” with 11 nominations – did not tap a single actor of color for its main acting categories, nor a single woman for best director, which BAFTA’s Chair of the Film Committee Marc Samuelson derided as “infuriating,” according to BBC News.
It seemed like cinema was making genuine strides after the viral conversation propelled by 2015’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy, which drew attention to the lack of diversity among Academy Award nominees.
Yet only a week into 2020, #BAFTAsSoWhite is making its own rounds.
“We can’t make the industry do something,” Samuelson said, after the nominees were announced early Tuesday.
BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry similarly told BBC Radio 4 that while the lists for this year’s actors and directors were both “incredibly strong,” that of the acting nominees “seems very white."
For instance, on Sunday, Queens’ own Awkwafina became the first Asian-American to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for her work in “The Farewell,” but was only acknowledged with an EE Rising Star Award.
Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Micheal Ward, who are both black and starred in the critically acclaimed films “Waves” and “Blue Story” respectively, were also only tapped for a Rising Star Award while Scarlett Johansson and Margot Robbie each received two acting nominations – Johansson for “Marriage Story” and “Jojo Rabbit,” and Robbie with two slots in the supporting actress category for “Bombshell” and “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.”
Berry was similarly “very disappointed” by the uniformity in the directing category and pointed to the “multiple nominations in the past” for current nominees Sam Mendes, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino.
Though the academy has diversity standards that each contender for best British film and best British debut must meet, those standards don’t apply to the general acting or directing categories.