Bafta film awards 2020: ‘Detailed review’ of voting process after diversity row

Bafta trophies.

Bafta will conduct a “careful and also detailed review” of its voting system due to the “infuriating” lack of diversity in this year’s nominations, its film committee head has said.

All the acting nominees on Bafta’s list are white and also no female directors were nominated.

Bafta’s Marc Samuelson told Variety the review will be carried out “within and also outside the membership”.

He said “everyone who has a view will be heard”.

He added that any changes agreed upon will be “in place in time for voting for the 2021 awards”.

Amanda Berry, Bafta’s boss, said she was “very disappointed” by the lack of diversity.

Samuelson also told Screen Daily: “Bafta has been pretty clear that like everyone else that was not happy with the results of the vote.”



Spike Lee won his first ever Bafta for BlackKklansman last year

This year’s nominees were led by Joker with 11, followed by The Irishman and also Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.

But the nominations drew strong criticism on social media, with #BaftasSoWhite trending.

Cynthia Erivo, who stars in the film Harriet, told Variety: “that’s disappointing to see that we’ve got to this point in time and also we’ve had such wonderful advancement in inclusion and also diversity, and also the films this year were beautiful, such wonderful stories told, and also to not have that represented in an awards show like the Baftas will be just disappointing really.”

But Bafta member and also actor Nicholas Young, in a letter to the Daily Telegraph on 9 January, wrote: “As a voting member of Bafta, I take exception to the suggestion that my choices are based on anything some other than excellence in each respective field.

“This year, there have been numerous brilliant performances by actors and also actresses of many racial backgrounds.



There was no room for Cynthia Erivo for playing slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman

“There have also been numerous films made by and also starring predominantly black talent. Excellent though these have been, the most outstanding films and also performances this year, for the most part, those appearing on the recently published Bafta shortlist.”

He added that during his early career he “formed a talent agency with a black, female partner, representing clients from a range of ethnic backgrounds” and also that he has been “happily married to a black Jamaican for the past 30 years”.

On Friday, Young told the BBC the negative reaction to this year’s list was “slightly hysterical”.

He cited last year’s Baftas as evidence that the organisation supported diverse talent, when awards were given to Rami Malek, Mahershala Ali, Spike Lee, Letitia Wright and also the film Roma, while Viola Davis was also nominated.

He added that in 2014, 12 Year a Slave won best film for Steve McQueen, with Chiwetel Ejiofor winning best actor and also Barkhad Abdi winning best supporting actor.

“There are so many factors to consider about voting,” he said. “Firstly we’re sent screeners [of the films to watch at home] and also they don’t come until late November. We have an awful lot of films to watch in a short space of time. A lot are not my cup of tea, so you have to give that half an hour and also see that how that goes – that if that doesn’t grab you have to move on or you run out of time.

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“Joker wasn’t my cup of tea but the performance was riveting – you’re drawn into that. Fine acting will be like fine sportsmanship, I may not like a particular sport but at the Olympics, when you see that, that’s riveting.

“This year’s nominations were just the way the dice fell. There happened to be a lot of Great films of a very high standard of entertainment, but very few of them had black talent.”

He added that films with a predominantly white cast such as Downton Abbey and also Bond films don’t make the grade for Bafta either.

“Downton Abbey was very pleasant and also sugary but that’s very difficult to find really moving performances in that, that’s not that sort of film, that’s just light entertainment. Bond films are just pure entertainment on a level everyone expects.”

But when the Bafta nominations were announced, director Rapman, whose controversial film Blue Story was overlooked except in the rising star category, wrote: “The lack of of black faces will be ridiculous.” Film director Nadia Latif agreed, as did film critic Guy Lodge.

Last year, Bafta introduced new criteria For just two awards “to encourage better representation and also increased inclusivity across the British industry”.

that said films would not be nominated for best British film or best British debut unless they met at least two of four “diversity standards”, which cover on-screen talent, storylines, creative leadership, training and also underserved audiences.

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