Even BAFTA finds its film nominations’ lack of diversity ‘infuriating’

"Joker" received 11 BAFTA nominations on Tuesday, including best actor (Joaquin Phoenix).
(Niko Tavernise / Warner Bros. Entertainment)

The BAFTA nominations are out, and they’re looking oh so white.

Even the British Academy of Film and Television Arts thinks so.

“Infuriating lack of diversity in the acting noms,” Marc Samuelson, chair of BAFTA’s film committee, told Variety on Tuesday when asked about this year’s nominations. “It’s just a frustration that the industry is not moving as fast as certainly the whole BAFTA team would like it to be.”

The British Academy unveiled its list of film nominees on Tuesday, with “Joker” topping the nominations. The movie about the origins of the comic-book villain received 11 nominations, including best film, best actor (Joaquin Phoenix), and best director (Todd Phillips).


None of the 20 nominees in the acting categories, however, were people of color. Naturally, Twitter was quick to point out the group’s blatant omission of diversity, sparking the trending hashtag #BAFTAsSoWhite.

Here’s a sampling of some angry and confused social media reactions:

Phoenix won a Golden Globe on Sunday for his performance as the titular villain of “Joker.” Joining Phoenix in BAFTA’s actor category are Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver, Taron Egerton and Jonathan Pryce.

Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic “The Irishman” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” were close behind with 10 nominations apiece, including best picture, and Sam Mendes’ WWI film “1917” also earned a best picture nomination two days after winning that award at the Golden Globes.

The Korean film “Parasite” also is on the best picture list.

The best actress will be chosen from Scarlett Johansson, Saoirse Ronan, Charlize Theron, Renée Zellweger and Margot Robbie.

The awards will be announced at a gala event hosted by Graham Norton on Feb. 2.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.