January 13, 2020

Steve McQueen on BAFTA Diversity Crisis: Change or Have “No Credibility at All”

By Alex Ritman

Steve McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave and Widows, has warned that the BAFTA awards could become like the Grammys, and have “no credibility at all,” unless it reforms following the diversity controversy that erupted in the wake of this year’s film nominations.

Revealed last week, the 2020 crop of BAFTA nominees sparked an instant backlash after it emerged that black talent had been snubbed in the main acting categories, with the likes of Brit stars Lupita Nyong’o and Cynthia Erivo missing out, while the directing shortlist was, once again, an all-male affair.

“After a while you get a bit fed up with it. Because if the BAFTAs are not supporting British talent, if you’re not supporting the people who are making headway in the industry, then I don’t understand what you are there for,” McQueen, a two-time BAFTA winner himself, told The Guardian.

“Unless the BAFTAs wants to be like the Grammys, which is of no interest to anyone, and has no credibility at all, then they should continue on this path. If not then they have to change. Fact.”