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British Stars Carey Mulligan, Himesh Patel Compile ‘Alternative BAFTA’ Nominees List

British stars including Carey Mulligan, Himesh Patel and Gemma Arterton have contributed to an ‘Alternative BAFTAs’ list of nominees that honors talent overlooked by this year’s awards.

The campaign is organized by Time’s Up U.K., which is rolling out a social media blitz this week in the lead-up to Sunday’s BAFTA awards honoring the women and actors of color they feel should have been recognized by the British Academy, whose film awards nominations earlier this month were heavily criticized for shutting out actors of color, resulting in the hashtag #BaftasSoWhite.

Critics also took aim at the lack of female directors in a year when Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” and Lorene Scafaria’s “Hustlers” were audience favorites as well as box office hits.

Mulligan, whose turn in “Promising Young Woman” is garnering early acclaim out of Sundance, said she would nominate “Hustlers” director Scafaria, while Arterton said: “I loved ‘Booksmart’ and can’t believe it didn’t get any nods, especially for the acting and first-time director. Same goes for ‘The Nightingale’ and ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire.'”

Meanwhile, breakout “Yesterday” star Himesh Patel said his nominations would go to Lee Jung Eun for Best Supporting Actress for “Parasite” and Tzi Ma for Best Supporting Actor for “The Farewell.” 

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“Game of Thrones” actor Indira Varma, who is also a Time’s Up U.K. ambassador, said: “I very much support Bong Joon-Ho’s nomination for Best Director and Best Picture (for) ‘Parasite,’ but I would also nominate Mati Diop for Best Director (for) ‘Atlantique’ and Olivia Wilde for Best Director (for) ‘Booksmart.’

“My pick for Best Screenplay would be Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel and Katie Silberman (for) ‘Booksmart.’ My Best Actress in a Leading Role nomination would be Awkwafina (for) ‘The Farewell.'”

Elsewhere, “A United Kingdom” director Amma Asante said her pick for Best Actress in a Leading Role would be “Queen & Slim” star Jodie Turner-Smith, while Joely Richardson said Vanessa Redgrave deserved a Best Supporting Actress nod for “Mrs Lowry and Son.”

Dame Heather Rabbatts, chair of the Time’s Up U.K. campaign, tells Variety: “There are a number of women now coming through the system but, sadly, we are looking at an awards season where women and people of color have jut not been recognized despite the fact that there is a wonderful array of choices.

“This year, we wanted to make sure that those rendered invisible were being recognized.” 

Industry bodies such as actors’ union Equity and BEATS (British East Asians in Theatre and on Screen) have slammed BAFTA for the nominations, with the latter group demanding that the organization “actively (seek) to engage with representatives of those minority communities that are currently failing.”

Times Up U.K. has also been in conversation with the British Academy, and Rabbatts is calling for a “fundamental structural review of how films get nominated and how people vote.” 

BAFTA has promised to carry out a “careful and detailed review” of voting procedures for members that will aim to produce a more representative system for the 2021 awards.

A similar scenario at the BAFTAs transpired three years previously, when voters produced another lineup of all-white nominees. Rabbatts tells Variety that the awards landscape cannot withstand another diversity scandal.

If there was another year where there was a failure in diversity on the slates of nominations, that would undermine the credibility of the awards, which would be a tragedy.” 

The BAFTAs will take place in London on Feb. 2.

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