Steve McQueen slams BAFTA over lack of diversity

Director Steve McQueen has slammed BAFTA chiefs after black actors and filmmakers were snubbed in the nominations for this year’s awards.British Academy of Film and Television Arts bosses were left embarrassed last week after their members failed to no…

Director Steve McQueen has slammed BAFTA chiefs after black actors and filmmakers were snubbed in the nominations for this year’s awards.

British Academy of Film and Television Arts bosses were left embarrassed last week after their members failed to nominate any black or ethnic minority stars for awards at next month’s ceremony.

Now, McQueen has criticised the lack of diversity at the event, rejecting organisers’ claims that the lack of diversity is down to wider issues with representation in the film industry.

“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. 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,” he fired in an interview with The Guardian, referencing the criticism of the annual U.S. music awards for snubbing black talent. “If not then they have to change. Fact.”

McQueen, who has an Oscar and two BAFTAs, went on to cite a number of British stars and filmmakers who he thinks should have received recognition, including Cynthia Erivo for Harriet – who has also condemned BAFTA for the lack of diversity – and Daniel Kaluuya for his performance in Queen & Slim. He also shared his disappointment at Lupita Nyong’o not being nominated for Jordan Peele’s Us.

“But not even just British talent, it’s talent in general. It’s crazy,” the 50-year-old added.

The 12 Years a Slave filmmaker went on to insist that if the BAFTAs failed on diversity, they would experience a talent drain as stars and creatives move to Hollywood to find success.

“If (filmmakers) are not recognised visually in our culture, well what’s the b**ody point? It becomes irrelevant, redundant and of no interest or importance. End of,” he concluded.

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