Harriet star Cynthia Erivo says it’s “disappointing” that a slate of all-white nominees were selected for the major categories of this year’s 2020 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Film Award.
On the red carpet to promote her new HBO show, The Outsider, Erivo weighed in on the slight. “It’s disappointing to see that we’ve got to this point in time and we’ve had such wonderful advancement in inclusion and diversity, and the films this year were beautiful, such wonderful stories told, and to not have that represented in an awards show like the BAFTAs is just disappointing really,” Erivo said, according to Variety.
On top of snubbing Erivo’s riveting performance, BAFTA had the audacity to ask the actress and singer if she could perform during the Feb. 2 show, for which she declined.
“The reason I didn’t perform is because I don’t think it’s proper representation, as a woman of color, of people of color in this industry,” Erivo said, reported Variety.
In addition to BAFTA’s all-white noms in the lead or supporting actor or actress categories, the British Academy also failed to nominate a single female director, leaving five white men vying for the title.
After the nominations were unveiled, BAFTA said it would carefully review the voting process, still Erivo said she isn’t sure what good that will do.
“Let’s see how (the review) does, whether it affects next year or the year after who knows, but I definitely think it’s time for change, we can’t overlook it anymore,” Erivo told Variety.
BAFTA promised to become more inclusive and diverse in June 2018 when faced with a similar situation. Marc Samuelson, chairperson of BAFTA’s film committee, called the situation “frustrating.”
“Infuriating lack of diversity in the acting noms,” Samuelson told Variety. “It’s just a frustration that the industry is not moving as fast as certainly the whole BAFTA team would like it to be.”