BAFTA Organizers Respond to Backlash Over Lack of Diversity Among 2020 Nominees

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts says they're 'disappointed' by to the lack of non-white nominees in the newly-announced list of 73rd BAFTA nominations.

AceShowbiz - BAFTA chiefs have expressed their disappointment and anger after their members failed to nominate any actors of colour in any of the main acting categories at the British Academy Film Awards.

Movie fans expressed anger after the nominations were announced on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 using the Twitter hashtag #BAFTASoWhite, with many furious that actors including Brit Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Lopez, and Lupita Nyong'o were snubbed.

Asked by the Press Association about the lack of diversity BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry said, "Being totally honest, we are disappointed and that is not to take anything away from the people who have been nominated."

She went on to cite the Rising Star category, which boasts "Top Boy" and "Blue Story" star Micheal Ward, Awkwafina, and Kelvin Harrison Jr., among the nominees, as an example of how things will change in the future.

"That group was a much more diverse group of actors and again that is talent at the start of its career so we are seeing these changes coming through," she said.

Marc Samuelson, the chairman of Bafta's Film Committee expressed his anger in stronger terms, saying, "Clearly everybody knows that everybody in the four acting groups of nominees are white, it's infuriating, we can't make the industry do something, all we can do is encourage and push and inspire and try to help people coming in at the bottom end." However, their explanations are unlikely to placate fans who pointed out that there was no place for Lopez, Erivo, and Nyong'o among the nominees despite Margot Robbie and Scarlett Johansson receiving two nominations each, with Robbie's both coming in the supporting actress section.

The lack of diversity has caused embarrassment for BAFTA, who have tried to refresh their membership with younger entertainers from different backgrounds in recent years. Another misstep was the lack of women among the best director nominees - despite "Little Women" filmmaker Greta Gerwig being hotly tipped for a nod.

Blaming the all-male shortlist on studios not offering opportunities to women, Berry added, "We just need to get the studios to greenlight more projects covering diverse subjects directed by women, but it's happening; it's just not happening fast enough, so we are going to push really hard."

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