You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BAFTA Blackout Diversity Protest Expected Ahead of Sunday’s Awards

LONDON — In another sign that the diversity debate within the film biz shows no sign of abating, a number of protesters are expected to stage a “peaceful” demonstration outside the British Academy of Film and Television Awards on Feb. 14.

Creatives of Colour, an org led by thesp-scribe Leon Herbert (“Aliens 3,” “Batman”), will be protesting outside of London’s Royal Opera House ahead of the BAFTA awards on Sunday night in a bid to draw attention to a lack of “diversity, opportunity and inclusion” within Blighty’s film and TV biz.

The group has already been using the hashtag #BaftaBlackout in advance of the protest, echoing the sentiment of #OscarsSoWhite, which was unleashed across social media soon after 2016 Oscar noms saw an all-Caucasian line-up provoke wider conversations about the lack of diversity within the industry.

Herbert, who said on a video released on Vimeo that the U.K. film and TV industry was “pale, male and stale,” approached BAFTA chief Amanda Berry to discuss the protest.

“His aim is to stage a peaceful protest, highlighting the importance of opportunity for all, and I support that message,” Berry told Variety.

Herbert added: “We protested at the awards in 1994, 1995 and 1996. Today, in 2016 – 20 years on – absolutely nothing has changed.” He called on the industry to adopt a quota system and stop the “lip service” on the issue.

But BAFTA, unlike this year’s Academy Awards, can already boast a more diverse and inclusive list of nominees. Oscar-snubbed Idris Elba and Benicio del Toro are both up for Best Supporting Actor for their respective roles in “Beasts of No Nation” and “Sicario,” while 1950s-set lesbian love story “Carol,” which has widely won over global critics since it played in competish at the Cannes Film Festival last year, is up for nine BAFTA noms (the same as “Bridge of Spies”) including Best Picture, a category for which it was overlooked at the Oscars.

BAFTA, which is an independent non-profit, announced last summer that it would be circulating a diversity survey amongst its members – long before the 2016 Oscar furore – in a bid to seek out a more detailed insight into its membership. The anonymous and voluntary survey, which was emailed to U.K.-based members of its 6,500-strong membership on Jan. 20 (taking advantage of online engagement with members around awards voting) and closed earlier this week, asked questions about age, gender, socio-economic background, disability, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.

Despite media reports to the contrary, BAFTA has not actively chosen to increase the number of ethnic minority stars to present awards at the kudofest — a move which would suggest “tokenism” — but rather maintains it will continue to deliver a program as diverse as possible.

More Film

  • Orange Studio, OCS Join Forces on

    Orange Studio, OCS Join Forces on Flurry of High-Profile Series

    Following “The Name of the Rose”(pictured) and “Devils,” France’s Orange has unveiled four internationally-driven series projects as part of its commitment to step into premium original shows with its film/TV division Orange Studio and pay TV group OCS both of board. Currently in development, the social western “Cheyenne & Lola,” the dance-filled workplace drama “The [...]

  • 'This Isn’t Spinal Tap': Dishing the

    'This Isn’t Spinal Tap': Dishing the Dirt on Motley Crue's Surprisingly Dark Biopic

    The new, eagerly awaited Motley Crue biopic, based on Neil Strauss’ best-selling 2001 book, “The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band,” premieres today on Netflix after a seemingly endless 13 years in development hell. Those anticipating “a fun ‘80s music movie,” as Crue bassist Nikki Sixx puts it, will inevitably be stunned [...]

  • Doppelgänger Red (Lupita Nyong'o) and Adelaide

    Box Office: Jordan Peele's 'Us' Nabs $7.4 Million on Thursday Night

    Jordan Peele’s horror-thriller “Us” opened impressively with $7.4 million on Thursday night. The figure easily topped Thursday preview numbers for “The Nun” at $5.4 million and “A Quiet Place” at $4.3 million. Projections for “Us,” Peele’s much-anticipated follow-up to 2017’s “Get Out,” have been in the $38 million to $45 million range for the weekend as [...]

  • Beatriz Bodegas on Netflix Original: ‘Who

    ‘Who Would You Take to a Desert Island?’ Producer on New Spanish Netflix Original

    BARCELONA – “Who Would You Take to a Desert Island?” is the second directorial outing from Spain’s Jota Linares (“Animales sin collar”) a Netflix Original premiering on Friday, March 22 in competition at the Malaga Spanish Language Film Festival. Starring María Pedraza, Jaime Lorente, Pol Monen and Andrea Ros, the film is the movie adaptation [...]

  • Beijing Festival Unveils 'Max Max,' 'Bourne'

    Beijing Festival Unveils 'Max Max,' 'Bourne,' Kurosawa Screening Series

    The upcoming Beijing International Film Festival will give space to high profile Hollywood franchise movies with screenings of all films in both the “Mad Max” and “Bourne Identity” series. Classic Hollywood fare will also feature prominently in a line-up that, as usual, features an eclectic grab bag of titles. The local government-backed festival opens April [...]

  • J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church

    SXSW Film Review: 'J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius'

    Like 8mm films of 1960s “happenings” or videos of 1970s performance art, “J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius” chronicles a cultural footnote that perhaps should be filed under the heading You Had to Be There. The satirical-absurdist “religion” founded by some Texans actually caught fire among hipsters in the 1980s, influencing some [...]

  • 'Roll Red Roll' Review: Piercing Documentary

    Film Review: 'Roll Red Roll'

    “Roll Red Roll” is a piercingly relevant and disturbing documentary about an infamous high school rape case that took place in Steubenville, Ohio (pop. 18,600), on Aug. 11, 2012. Steubenville, the sort of Friday-night-lights small town that boasts signs that read “Kick off for Jesus,” is a place that’s good at keeping secrets. When the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content