BAFTA Winners Group Photo Provokes Anger Over “Deeply Regressive” Lack Of Diversity

by Hailey Greg
BAFTA Winners Group Photo Provokes Anger Over

During Sunday night’s BAFTA Film Awards, the #BaftaSoWhite hashtag circulated on social media once again.

Criticism of the lack of diversity among prizewinners centered around a photograph of all the award winners on stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Observers noted that the photograph contained just one Black person: Richard E. Grant and Alison Hammond, who co-hosted the BAFTAs.

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Del Walker, a BAFTA member and video game character creator, said that the image showed that major award ceremonies “seems to favour European stories about Europeans or White Americans.”

“All Quiet On The Western Front” Wins BAFTA For Best Film Among Leading 7 Winners; “Everything Everywhere All At Once” All But Shut Out These are the 2023 BAFTA awards. The lady of color is a presenter. Michelle Yeoh, Angela Basset, Viola Davis, and Ke Huy Quan, all Oscar/Golden Globe winners, were unable to break through. Every judgment system is biased, but this one needs to be revised.

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Ashanti Omkar, a film and television pundit and BAFTA member, said the group photograph caused her “deep grief in the pit of her stomach.” 

“Disappointed!! It’s not shocking, but in 2023, it’s terribly backward and unwarranted,” she continued.

“I saw the video from the #BAFTAS, and neither a black nor a brown person won.

Not because they are not white, but because they are excellent, really excellent, and the greatest. In several categories.” said one user. 

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Hanna Ines Flint, the host of MTV Movies UK, referred to it as “white a night,” while Philippa Childs, president of union BECTU, observed, “The @BAFTA voting amendments have failed to make an effect, I see.”

The worry stems from the fact that BAFTA’s chairman, Krish Majumdar, has made increasing diversity in the film awards process one of his primary goals.

A rigorous diversity study resulted in 120 modifications to its voting, membership, and campaigning procedures, including an increase in the number of films seen by voters and the addition of 1,000 members from underrepresented backgrounds.

The organization said that 40% of acting nominations this year were from ethnically diverse backgrounds, in contrast to 2020 when all 20 nominees were white and winner Joaquin Phoenix stated that the industry must strive to “really comprehend systemic racism.”

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Cate Blanchett defeated Viola Davis in the Leading Actress category. Austin Butler battled with Daryl McCormack, the son of a white Irish mother and a Black American father, for the role of Leading Actor.

BAFTA believes similar victors will be presented at subsequent events when white-led films such as All Quiet on the Western Front are anticipated to triumph. This, however, ignores Everything Everywhere All at Once’s victory at the DGA Awards.

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