BAFTA Unveils Changes After Diversity Review: ‘This is a Watershed Moment’

Labor News, Industry News

Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Alex Ritman on September 24, 2020.

The British Academy has announced more than 120 significant and wide-ranging changes across its voting, membership and campaigning process aimed at addressing the lack of diversity in the BAFTA Awards.

Hailed as a “watershed moment for BAFTA” by chair Krishnendu Majumdar, the changes were unveiled Thursday following the conclusion of the first phase of a comprehensive, eye-opening and, at times, painful seven-month internal and external review, launched in response to the controversy that erupted following the 2020 BAFTA Film nominations in January when all-white nominees made up the top acting categories and the director category failed to include a single female filmmaker.

The changes — considered the biggest BAFTA has ever implemented — includes the introduction of a new longlist round in voting to achieve greater diversity; increasing the nominations and making rule changes to several categories, including acting and directing; making film viewing compulsory for all voters in one round of voting; a significant expansion of BAFTA’s voting members that targets those from under-represented groups; and pushing screenings onto a new digital platform. …

THR 9/24

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at