BAFTAs Criticized for Lack of Diversity


The 76th British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards (BAFTAs) dazzled with glamorous stars and an appearance from the Prince and Princess of Wales, but the event has also been getting some negative attention as well.
The BAFTAs have been receiving a significant amount of backlash for every single award winner being white, and many are calling for a change. Unquestionably, many are wondering how this could have possibly happened in 2023.
The BAFTA ceremony was held Feb. 23 at London’s Royal Festival Hall.
The issue of inclusivity at award shows has been brought up before, especially in the last few years. History shows that men, typically white men, dominate the film industry, in front of and behind the camera.
Emma Louise Corrin, who plays the young Princess Diana in seasons three and four of “The Crown,” came out as non-binary in July, 2021. Corrin has been nominated 14 times for the Netflix original and has won eight times, including the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series. But as a critically acclaimed icon of the film industry, Corrin faces a problem: Which category will they be nominated in?
In an interview with BBC, they said, “It’s difficult for me at the moment trying to justify in my head being non-binary and being nominated in female categories.”
The importance of representation in the media is fundamental for current and future generations.
Post grad Jenna Guglielmi did her Williston Scholars Language project about the progression of inclusion of Latino characters in Disney.
“It is very important that the people making these decisions [about award winners] are diverse and represent a wide range of artists in order to accurately represent the industry’s diversity,” she said.
Jenna additionally took a class last year at Taft called “Race and Gender in Hollywood Film.”
“I learned about a lot of disparities regarding creators in Hollywood, as most of them are straight, white men,” she said. “Because of this, it is much harder for accurate and diverse stories to be told, as there needs to be space for all creators to voice their art and represent all the people.”
Insider reports that 89% of the top categories at the Oscars went to white people, and 71% went to men.
Dean of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Nikki Chambers believes media representation can be decisive in someone’s life.
“The media plays a pivotal role in how we observe and think about the world,” she said. “Seeing someone who looks like you on screen can serve as inspiration, a source of connection, and give us the power to dream of what’s possible.”
Chambers acknowledged the steps taken but also admitted there needs to be more done.
“Hollywood has made some strides in this journey, but the media industry still has a long way to go.”