Monday 24 October 2016

Film industry lacks diversity - Bafta chief

Published 13/02/2016 | 04:36

Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry says there should be more diversity in the film industry
Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry says there should be more diversity in the film industry

The Bafta awards do not feature more black and ethnic minority nominees because the film industry "isn't diverse enough", the charity's chief executive has said.

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Amanda Berry said she was "supportive" of a protest outside its flagship ceremony against the lack of diversity in front of the camera.

A group called Creatives of Colour Network said it planned to stage a "peaceful" demonstration outside London's Royal Opera House ahead of the awards.

Ms Berry told the Daily Telegraph: "Not enough films are being made with diverse talent in front of the camera. Our industry isn't diverse enough, so the pool of people to draw award winners from isn't diverse enough. I want the awards to be as diverse as they possibly can be. But people can only vote on what they've seen."

She said the charity would be setting membership targets on diversity and indicated those who decided on nominations should be "qualified" and working in the film industry.

She also said she did not want to "gloat" that the acting shortlist was more diverse than the Oscars, which is again embroiled in a race row and faces a boycott from stars.

Ms Berry said: "It would be inappropriate for me to say that we've done a better job than the Oscars. I admire their stance. They've said that they're going to make changes. They know it isn't good enough. I don't want to gloat and say we've done better, because it could have gone the other way. I can't control who's nominated."

Beasts Of No Nation star Idris Elba, who is nominated for best supporting actor, and Star Wars actor John Boyega, a rising star nominee, are the only black actors to appear in this year's Bafta shortlist.

Leon Herbert, who appeared in the films Batman and Alien 3, is leading the Creatives of Colour demonstration, which has been using the hashtag Bafta Blackout on social media.

He told the paper : "The protest is not against Bafta per se, but against the film industry. The problem is that all the judging panels are white. I want to create a level playing field."

The Baftas will be handed out on Sunday at a star-studded ceremony at London's Royal Opera House.

Press Association

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