Bafta bosses announce major shake up to increase diversity after whitewash controversy

BAFTA has launched a complete overhaul of its famous film awards to address claims of sexism and racism.

A sweeping raft of 120 changes aims to see more females and BAME stars awarded at the film awards.

It will also focus on adding more working class people to the luvvie fest.

The diversity overhaul comes months after it was criticised by its own President Prince William.

Changes will include an increase in nominations in the acting and directing categories to address the lack of diverse and female nominations.

They will introduce a new longlisting round of voting in all categories to achieve greater diversity in nominations.


Training will become compulsory for anyone who wishes to cast a vote, including famous Bafta members like Dame Helen Mirren, 75, and Dame Judi Dench, 85.

It will also become compulsory for all voters, chapters and juries to watch all longlisted films before the second round of voting, to ensure a more equal playing field.

The nominations for Outstanding British Film extend from six to ten – leaving a broader range of films vying to land the big prize.

The nominations for Outstanding British Film extend from six to ten – leaving a broader range of films vying to land the big prize.

The Sun can reveal William has been supportive of the changes.

Kensington Palace said: “The Duke, as President of BAFTA, welcomes the review as a positive step towards greater diversity in the awards process and across the industry.”

Bafta chair Krishnendu Majumdar added: “This is a watershed moment for BAFTA. The Academy has never opened itself up like this before. 

“The sessions with contributors were tough, chastening, captivating and very moving.  Many colleagues from under-represented groups bravely shared their experiences of racism and discrimination in their careers.

COMMENT By DAN WOOTTON

IT was only in January that I revealed Bafta President Prince William was furious with the organisation he heads.

The absence of BAME talent in the top four acting categories and an all-male directing line-up saw the Duke make an unprecedented behind-the-scenes intervention and address the scandal in his speech on the night.

A source said of Bafta at the time: “If they’re not careful someone like William won’t want to keep his official connection to an organisation being so publicly branded as racist.”

It takes guts for a high profile organisation to admit they need to fundamentally change to adapt to the modern world.

So credit to Bafta and its brilliant new Chairman Krishnendu Majumdar who have spent the past seven months working out how to completely overhaul the way they work, no doubt partly inspired by Will’s disdain.

What I’ve been so impressed with is that the 120 new measures they are introducing are aimed at levelling up a traditionally snobby organisation dominated by posh luvvies.

While there are measures to address gender and race issues, socioeconomic disparities often relating to class are also being factored in.

The best news is that Bafta has been able to do all of this without going down the controversial and dispiriting approach of introducing quotas.

Change won’t happen overnight, but I’m glad to see Bafta stop paying lip service and start making genuine change.

“They also shared their ideas and hopes for BAFTA’s future, which we have embraced.  There is a real wish and support for BAFTA to continue to be an industry leader on diversity and other issues.

“Representation matters and we’ve all been starkly reminded of this with the rise of the global anti-racist movement.

“This creative renewal is not just about changes to the awards and membership – this is a reappraisal of our values and the culture of BAFTA. We want long term and sustainable change throughout the industry.”

This year’s film ceremony will take place in London on April 11, 2021.

In February, The Sun exclusively revealed how William had taken Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry to task over a lack of diversity.

He went on to give a damning speech at the swanky ceremony in London’s Royal Albert Hall and said: “In 2020, and not for the first time in the last few years, we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and in the awards process – that simply cannot be right in this day and age.”

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