The UK TV industry has attracted stinging criticism from special interest groups and trade bodies after only one of 12 nominated Directors at the BAFTA TV Craft Awards was female.
The We Are Doc Women collective, which is currently calling for broadcasters to bring in a 50% gender quota for directors on factual shows, said it will be contacting major broadcasters and production houses over the “saddening and angering” lack of female representation, while Directors UK criticized the lack of opportunities for diverse talent in mid-level careers.
We Are Doc Women’s statement described the male-only nomination shock as “one step forward and two steps back.”
The collective wrote to BAFTA in 2020 after a similar eventuality had taken place and last year’s Director: Factual nomination crop was 50/50 split, with Teresa Griffiths taking home the award for BBC Two’s Lee Miller: A Life on the Front Line.
But this year has reverted to type, with Surviving 9/11’s Arthur Cary, Four Hours at the Capitol’s Jamie Roberts Baby Surgeons: Delivering Miracles’ James Newton and a different James Newton nominated for Grenfell: The Untold Story.
The Director: Fiction list is also all-male and there is just one woman in the Director: Multi-Camera category.
We Are Doc Women added: “Whilst BAFTA and the rest of the TV and content industry virtue-signal around diversity, it would appear that women directors are simply still not getting on the lists. This calls for industry-wide change, from the broadcasters, SVODs, commissioners, the production community and BAFTA.”
In response, BAFTA Deputy Chair Sara Putt told Deadline progress in many areas of the Craft noms and in the Emerging Talent category, where the split is 50/50 including writers and directors, is “not translating effectively enough through the whole talent pipeline.”
Andy Harrower, who runs UK trade body Directors UK, said the diverse make-up of the Emerging Talent nominees is not reflected at Best Director level.
According to Harrower, many initiatives focus on helping emerging talent but not enough support them through the middle of their careers, a major focus for Directors UK.
“It’s not about the particular set of nominations, it’s about the reflection of the industry that they give us,” he added. “The challenge for our industry is how to create and sustain career pathways for existing and emerging talent to help them avoid hitting glass ceilings.”
Putt added: “We all need to look harder at the barriers to further progression and ensure that we can provide women with a sustainable career path and the opportunities to fulfil their potential; and we wholeheartedly agree that there needs to be further industry-wide change.
“As an Agent – in my day job – I know this does not adequately reflect the talented women in our industry, and within BAFTA we will be looking closely at this in terms of our entry requirements for Awards. We will also use the data from this year’s entries to identify the areas of under representation that we will focus on in future BAFTA talent initiatives.”
There were diversity gains in the performance categories, with 67% first-time nominees including BAFTA program graduates such as It’s a Sin’s Lydia West and Help‘s Cathy Tyson.
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