Baftas 2020: Stars criticise lack of diversity in award show nominations

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By Lauren Chadwick
Baftas 2020: Stars criticise lack of diversity in award show nominations
Copyright  Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

Stars criticised the lack of diversity among nominees at the 2020 Bafta awards as they accepted prizes at a show meant to celebrate British film.

"I think that we send a very clear message to people of colour that you're not welcome here," said Joaquin Phoenix, who received the award for Leading Actor for his role in "Joker".

"I think that we have to really do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism," Phoenix said, adding: "I think that 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."

All of the 18 nominees for acting awards were white. The five nominees for director were all men.

Prince William, who is president of the British Academy of Film and Televisions Arts, said that the academy would launch a review of the "entire awards process" to "ensure that opportunities are available to everyone."

The hashtag #BAFTASSoWhite was trending in the UK on Sunday.

AP Photo/Euronews Graphic
The 18 acting nominees at the Baftas were all white.AP Photo/Euronews Graphic

Actress Rebel Wilson, who presented the award for Director, said that she didn't think she could do what they do, "honestly I just don't have the balls".

The topic of diversity is sure to come up during the Oscars next week - where out of 19 acting nominees, only one is a person of colour.

'1917' wins big

The first world war film directed by Sam Mendes took home seven Baftas on Sunday including Best Film, Outstanding British Film and Best Director.

The film also won several technical awards including cinematography, production design, sound and special visual effects.

The wins could bode well for the film heading into the Oscars next week. The British film also won the award for Best Motion Picture - Drama at the Golden Globes in January.

Renée Zellweger won the award for Leading Actress for her portrayal of show business legend Judy Garland.

Laura Dern won the award for Supporting Actress for her role in the Netflix film "Marriage Story" and Brad Pitt took home the award for Supporting Actor for Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood".

Additional sources • Video via AP and AFP