The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) have responded to criticism of its lack of diversity by nominating three times as many black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) actors and performers as last year’s TV awards show.
Nine stars, including Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa, The End of the F***ing World’s Naomi Ackie and comedians Guz Khan and Mo Gilligan are among those nominated for the individual awards.
They make up around a third of all those nominated, a marked improvement on the three from last year.Bafta has come under fire for its lack of representation in both its film and TV award shows in recent years.
In January, there was a furore after Bafta failed to nominate a single actor of colour for its film awards show, and #BAFTAsSoWhite trended worldwide on social media.
Hotly-tipped stars, including Lupita Nyong’o in Us, Cynthia Erivo in Harriet, Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers, Awkwafina in The Farewell and the cast of the acclaimed Parasite, were all snubbed by the academy for the film awards show, despite them all picking up major awards elsewhere.
Many speeches focused on the lack of diversity, including host Graham Norton, leading actor winner Joaquin Phoenix and guest of honour Prince William in an embarrassing night for the academy.
But now it appears Bafta is responding to the criticism after nine BAME stars were nominated for the main individual performer categories for its award show in July, which will be presented remotely by Richard Ayoade.
There are now nominees from a BAME background in every category except leading actress.Among them are Ncuti Gatwa for the hit Netflix comedy Sex Education, Naomi Ackie for The End of the F***ing World and Jasmine Jobson for the acclaimed series Top Boy.
Others include Mo Gilligan for The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan, Gbemisola Ikumelo for Famlam, Takehiro Hira and Will Sharpe for Giri/Haji, Guz Khan for Man Like Mobeen and Youssef Kerkour for Home.
Last year, only three actors and performers of colour were nominated for the individual awards, namely Chance Perdomo for Killed By My Debt, Lucian Msamati for Kiri and Sandra Oh for Killing Eve.
Other shows led by black and Asian people, including Romesh Ranganathan’s The Ranganation, the Rap Game UK and When They See Us, have also been nominated for awards.
The nominations come at a fraught time with race firmly at the forefront amid worldwide Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Elsewhere in the nominations, Chernobyl leads the way with a staggering 14 nominations across the TV and Craft awards, while The Crown and Fleabag have racked up a respectable seven and six nominations.
Sky Atlantic’s Chernobyl has taken the world by storm and scored a higher IMDb rating than Game Of Thrones and Breaking Bad.
The five-part series follows an investigative commission appointed in the wake of the devastating nuclear accident on April 26, 1986.
The show has been lauded as a harrowing and realistic account of those who battled to save the world from the toxic radiation emitting from the plant’s Reactor Four.
Chernobyl has received nominations in the costume design, director fiction, editing fiction, make-up and hair design, original music, photography and lighting Fiction, production design, scripted casting, sound fiction, special, visual and graphic effects, writer drama and mini-series categories.
Actors Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgard have also been recognised in the leading actor and supporting actor categories at the Bafta awards.
The Crown, which saw Olivia Colman take over the role of Queen Elizabeth II for the third and four series, has received nods in the photography and lighting fiction, production design, sound fiction, special, visual and graphic effects and drama series categories.
Josh O’Connor who plays Prince Charles, and Helena Bonham-Carter, who portrays Princess Margaret have been nominated in the supporting actor and supporting actress categories.
Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner Fleabag scored an incredible six nominations at the awards, recognised in the director fiction, editing fiction, writer comedy, female performance in a comedy programme for Phoebe Waller-Bridge and scripted comedy categories.
BBC’s thriller series Giri/Haji picked up six nominations across the two awards shows.The eight-part series is set in England and Japan with dialogue in English and subtitled Japanese, and has a pair of brothers at its heart, Kenzo and Yuto Mori.
Kenzo is a respectable Tokyo-based detective, and Yuto is rumoured to be part of the Japanese mafia, the Yakuza, and is lying low in London after allegedly murdering a Japanese businessman there.
The critically-acclaimed series was dubbed the “next Peaky Blinders” upon its debut.It has been nominated in the editing fiction, original music, scripted casting, drama series, leading actor (for Takehiro Hira) and supporting actor (for Will Sharpe) at the awards.
Killing Eve has scored three craft nominations and one television award nomination for Jodie Comer’s Villanelle, a role which has already landed her a Primetime Emmy Award and 2019’s Best Actress Bafta Television Award.
His Dark Materials has scored five craft nominations in the costume design, photographyand lighting fiction, sound fiction, special, visual and graphic effects and titles.
Channel 4 drama The Virtues, starring Line of Duty’s Stephen Graham has picked up five nominations in the director fiction, Wwriter drama, leading actor, mini-series and supporting actress (for Helen Behan) categories.
Sex Education picked up nods in the Breakthrough Talent (for writer Laurie Nunn), production design, scripted casting and male performance in a comedy programme (for Ncuti Gatwa) categories.
Rounding off the top nominees, Top Boy, which was revived in 2019, has scored four nominations in the Breakthrough Talent (for director Aneil Karia), photography and lighting fiction, scripted casting and supporting actress (for Jasmine Jobson) categories.
Notable snubs include EastEnders, which won Best Soap at the 2019 awards, but has failed to be nominated at the 2020 show.
The Bafta Television Awards 2020 announced the nominees for the Must-See Moment category on Wednesday. — Mail Online.