non-diverse films won’t be eligible for the bafta awards starting in 2019

February 21, 2017

Hold on to your hats, it’s about to get diverse! The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced that works that aren’t inclusive in their production practices will no longer be eligible for the highest of the honors: Outstanding British Film or Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer awards. The BAFTAs are regarded as the UK equivalent of the Oscars, so for the biggest award show in the country to be taking a stand for inclusion and diversity in their awarding, perhaps the incentive will finally be enough to have sufficient representation of the spectrum of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and disabilities in front of and behind the camera. Many people will say that this is a thinly veiled attempt by BAFTA to disincentivize and devalue whiteness, and those folks will surely have a lot to say about this practice which is set to begin in 2019. When actuality, this seems to be an earnest attempt to call forth the stories that otherwise wouldn’t be told and to support the directors, actors, actress, producers, cinematographers and filmmakers who have long been pushed to the outskirts. Looking forward to 2019’s awards showcasing the type of diversity of all kinds that our world so desperately needs to celebrate.

By T. McLendon, AFROPUNK Contributor