The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs) have made an amazing step towards diversity. Recently the academy announced that if a film isn’t considered diverse, it won’t be eligible for the Outstanding British Film or Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer awards. This begins in 2019.
How is a film considered diverse?
Well, the BBC reports it as; “On-screen characters and themes, senior roles and crew, industry training and career progression, and audience access and appeal to underrepresented audiences. BAFTA will also remove the requirement that newly admitted voters be recommended by two existing members.”
The move may have been in response to the backlash faced by the Academy Awards earlier this year. The lack of diversity in Oscar nominees caused several A-list names to boycott the awards, and sparked the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag.
The BAFTAs have also widened the pool of those who vote on films, beginning from this year. People who no longer work in the film industry must now be recommended by two people already sitting on the voting board.
In 2016, of the 375 members, 43% were female, 18% represented minority groups and the average age of the group has dropped to 44.
Diversity in entertainment is not a new topic. But in the last 12 months, it seems that the conversation has been taken more seriously. The BAFTA awards have made the first steps in making sure that diversity will become the norm.