When the 2020 BAFTA nominations were announced earlier this month, criticism about the lack of diversity was swift and powerful, forcing BAFTA to announce they would conduct a “detailed review” of their voting process. In the meantime, Time’s Up UK is collaborating with British actors and directors on a social media campaign that will highlight talent they believe has been overlooked this year.
On Monday (Jan. 27), Time’s Up UK released a press statement outlining their goals, supported by an array of British talent such as Carey Mulligan, Himesh Patel, Amma Asante, and Gemma Arterton. As the Guardian writes, they will each “contribute to an alternative list of BAFTA nominees”, with Mulligan supporting Lorene Scafaria for writing and directing Hustlers, and Arterton sharing her love for Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart. “I can’t believe it didn’t get any nods, especially for the acting and first-time director,” she said. “Same goes for The Nightingale and Portrait of a Lady on Fire.”
Director Amma Asante highlighted Jodie Turner-Smith’s performance in Queen & Slim for Leading Actress. Turner-Smith’s co-star Daniel Kaluuya was also named as someone who should have gained a spot on the Leading Actor shortlist.
“This is not about taking away from the talent that has been nominated,” Time’s Up UK chair Heather Roberts said. ““We congratulate all of those nominated and we know all the hard work and total commitment to achieve this accolade. But alongside them there are others who should be standing on the carpet.”
She continued: “We really hope you will join us with celebrating the rich and diverse roster of talent before us. This ‘invisibility’ is even more shocking, given the choices which were made available and the strength of films and performances where Black talent was apparent this year.”
In response to criticism around this year’s shortlists, Chair of the BAFTA Film Committee Marc Samuelson told Variety that there was a wider problem at play, saying: “It’s infuriating lack of diversity in the acting noms. It’s just a frustration that the industry is not moving as fast as certainly the whole BAFTA team would like it to be.”
Chair of the BAFTA Film Committee Krishnendu Majumdar expressed similar sentiments, noting that “the lack of female nominees in the best director category was an ‘industry-wide problem’, and that BAFTA was ‘fiercely doing something about it’ with schemes like Elevate,” BBC News reports.
BAFTA have since announced they will be conducting a “careful and detailed review within and outside the membership,” with Samuelson saying: “There is absolute openness to change, and the organization made clear its position on the noms and that it was not satisfied. Change is required – what that is, is complex and needs calm, careful thought.”