The nominations are in and social media is furious with the prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards announcements as every person shortlisted for an acting award this year is white.
The nominations, announced live in the United Kingdom (UK) on Tuesday (Jan. 7), triggered a trending hashtag #BAFTASoWhite within minutes as the Twittersphere reacted to the disappointing lack of diversity.
The ‘Caucasian’ take-over across the four leading and supporting actors and actresses categories did not sit well with many, especially people of colour, despite many talented candidates at BAFTA’s consideration.
The BAFTA Film Awards, seen by many as Britain’s equivalent of the Academy Awards (Oscars), argued it was “frustrated” by the lack of diversity, however, Twitter users have slammed the society for being stubborn – while riding on the coattails of the cultures it repeatedly perpetuates but neglects.
Some social media pundits have taken issue with BAFTA celebrating the past year’s diversity in film in one paltry category – the newly renamed Rising Star Award – which pits actresses Awkwafina and Kaitlyn Dever against Michael Ward, Kelvin Harrison Junior and Jack Lowden.
For others, the controversial, ‘whitewashed’ nods could just be a signal of what’s to come on Monday, January 13, when Oscar nominations are announced.
Marc Samuelson, chair of BAFTA’s film committee, in a statement to PA Media news agency, acknowledged (for an honest lack of a better expression, because really) the lack of diversity in this year’s nominations.
“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,” Samuelson said.
With a lot still going for it, JOKER leads the BAFTA nominations, being shortlisted in a record 11 categories, including best film, best director and leading actor.
Martin Scorsese’s epic mob movie The Irishman and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood both received 10 nominations.
Sticking out like a sore thumb for hundreds of Twitteratti was the fact that Scorsese, Tarantino, Sam Mendes, Todd Phillips and Bong Joon-ho have all been nominated in the Best Director category – which, for yet another year, (despite options) features no women.
See the full list of nominations below:
What do you think BUZZ fam? Should more diversity be centre stage at Britain’s biggest night in film?
Do the nominations surprise you?
Sound off in the comments section…and, ACTION!