Just when we thought that we were finally getting somewhere with diversity in the world of film, this years award nominations come along and prove that there is still a lot of work to do. Over the last week, we have seen the nominations for both the BAFTAS and the Oscars revealed and there is one thing that they both have to common. A severe lack of diversity.
With not a single nomination for a person of colour in the acting categories in the Bafta nominations and only one at the Oscars, it is only a best actress nomination for Harriet actress Cynthia Erivo that is saving the award show from an embarrassing repeat of the #Oscarssowhite controversy from four years ago. This is despite the fact that The Academy claimed that it had taken steps to make to make the awards more diverse in 2016. Over the last 10 years out of the 200 nominees in the four acting categories, there have only been 26 non-white actors nominated with only seven winning. It is really no surprise that this week has seen #Oscarssowhite and #Baftassowhite trending on Twitter in the public outcry that followed the nomination announcements.
But sadly, the diversity row doesn’t stop there with the lack of BAME nominees. There is not one single nomination for a female director this year, with Greta Gerwig missing out for Little Women to the surprise of many. She was last nominated for Lady Bird in 2018, and that was the last and only time a female director has been nominated in that last ten years. In fact, there have only been five nominations for female directors in the awards 92 year history and only ever one female winner in that category; Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2010.
Florence Pugh, who played the role of Amy in Gerwig’s Little Women and is nominated for best supporting actress told BBC News that ‘…the very fact that last year we had more female writers and directors than ever and we’re still coming up against it is quite an obvious problem’
In a surprising turn of events, musical biopic Rocketman has only received one nomination at the Oscars, a best original song nom when most were expecting a best actor nomination for Taron Egerton at the very least. Some of argued that this might come down to the fact that the film features a gay sex scene and addresses the LGBTQ subject very openly, unlike Bohemian Rhapsody (which won four awards including best actor for Rami Malik) which some believe brushes over the topic. That being said, some are angered by the fact that gay characters on screen are still mostly being portrayed by straight actors, suggesting that this is something that really needs to change.
Whether it’s because is because of the portrayal of LGBTQ issues or becuase the academy just didn’t like it, the lack of nominations for Rocketman has come as a big surprise the film watching public.
Whether it be because of the lack of recognition for non-white actors, the complete omission of female directors or a lack of LGBTQ representation, the nominations for this years major film awards have certainly got people talking. They have also proven that there is still a lot that needs to be done to make the film industry a more diverse and open place.