BAFTA Names Steering Group To Tackle Diversity Issues

BAFTA Games Awards
Carlo Paloni/BAFTA/Shutterstock

BAFTA has named a 12-strong steering group that will lead a review of its voting processes in a bid to address a lack of diversity in its nominations.

This year, the awards body caught flak for unveiling a crop of nominations featuring no non-white actors and an all-male director field. This led the body to contact its membership expressing the “frustrating” lack of diversity.

Deadline broke the news that BAFTA was set to conduct a “thorough review” of its procedures in response to the #BAFTAsSoWhite backlash and calls from orgs including Directors UK to address the issue.

The review will cover nominations and voting process, the role of distributors, the campaigning process, and the makeup of BAFTA’s membership and ultimately how these processes and conditions might be improved. It will focus on the film awards but will also consider BAFTA’s TV, craft and games ceremonies.

The steering group, which is being led by BAFTA Deputy Chair Krishnendu Majumdar, is comprised of the org’s board and committee members, BAFTA staff, and external industry figures and independent advisors.

They are:

  • Kathryn Busby – Executive Vice President of TriStar Television
  • Noel Clarke – Actor, Writer, Director, Producer
  • Dr Sadia Habib – Academic & Co-founder RizTest
  • Anna Higgs – Head of Entertainment Media Partnership, Northern Europe Facebook
  • Nahrein Kemp – Film & TV Executive, Film London, runs Equal Access Network
  • Kate Lee – Founder & Partner, Freuds
  • Dee Poku – Founder & CEO of WIE; founder The Other Festival
  • Ade Rawcliffe – Head of Diversity, ITV Commissioning
  • Marc Samuelson – Producer
  • Tara Saunders – Director of Studio Operations, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Jennifer Smith – Head of Inclusion BFI
  • Sam Tatlow – ThinkBIGGER Talent manager

The group will meet regularly this year to lead an industry consultation to rigour the review process. Meetings will be conducted remotely due to the ongoing lockdown.

The information gathered will be reviewed by an independent expert, Professor Doris Ruth Eikhof, University of Glasgow, who currently leads the AHRC project Everyday Diversity in the UK screen sector.

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