It has been announced today that there are no black nominees in the recently released list.
Since it has been announced there has been a long tirade of the usual noise online with #BAFTAsSowhite trending on Twitter this afternoon.
The director of the awards, Emma Baehr, today a released a statement that appeared to agree and lay the blame at the industry itself.
The main argument that is being made is that input from black on non-white circles could not be ignored if the academy in question was not racist.
These performances included Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers, Eddie Murphy in Dolemite is my Name and Lupita Nyong’o for Us
So, Missy Lopez then? Sorry but I remember the awful "Jenny from the Block." As well as being the most self-absorbed song ever written which could be forgiven, was demonstrably disingenuous as countless interviews and BHS footage over the years has shown. Still, that is my opinion, but the real reason can be summed up in two words: "Gobble gobble." Nuff said.
Then Eddie Murphy in "Dolemite is My Name." A funny movie and a great story abouta , but it is Eddie playing the same Eddie.. An entertaining flick but BAFTA? Nope.
Maybe a man who has re-defined the depths a person can fall artistically, after the success and acclaim of his two stand-up giants, 'Raw' and 'Delirious', which are seen as standard in the comedy world, and the excellent stream of late eighties gold he gave us in Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America, and Trading Places, and then a fall. Such a fall. He did awful movie after awful movie. People do not forget that. He is not someone who has earned it. He seems to be back on top, but he has a copybook to un-blot, and a BAFTA is non-absorbent. Maybe next time Ed
Then there is Lupita Nyong'o. That is not a performance you could argue with. So it is an oversight, but it is still a choice they made.
Just let me be clear, I think it is bad that this has happened. It is regressive and a sad reflection of where we are. Yet we are making the wrong arguments.
On Twitter, everyone is saying about how Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman have never got Oscars and it is racist blah blah blah. No, I do not agree. Those are two actors with so little range it is tragic. Morgan Freeman is always sage, benevolent, and even if he is a bad guy, he still is very clearly Morgan Freeman. As far as Denzel goes, I have a similar stance. I loved Malcolm X and he was superb. Still, since that, I have only seen him do the same laugh, smiles, stare, and swagger. His tough-guy in Man on Fire is rousing, as he is in the first of the Equalizer franchise (which judging by the last one I hope is over) but once again, you can tell he is Denzel Washington. I will tell you a black actor of note; Bokeem Woodbine. He has a presence and does a great routine. An actor is someone like Sam Rockwell (who I also do not see on the list, maybe because he has an "r" in his name) who is unrecognisable in one role to the next. Jamie Foxx in Ray, now that is a performance. DW and MF are both acclaimed and professional men at the top of their game, but there is no conspiracy against them.
The question here, is wider though. The prejudice of the British Academy. Is it real? Possibly. I have to wonder though is it a knee-jerk reaction?
For years now we have seen tokenism rise. People getting jobs, nominations, awards, attention, political appointments based on what they are, be it gender or creed, and those of us with half a brain are getting pig sick of it.
Maybe the BAFTA people get a bit sick of every time there is a film by a black director, we are reminded in every press-release, every article and interview, that it is done by a black person, or a woman, or a bottlefly. It is self-serving vanity and grabby preemptive defence tactics. Self-promotion at its worst.
Who is to blame, well I think it is these bourgeois imbeciles that have comfortable jobs, lives and sit at the back of a room with a blank placard and a permanent-marker just waiting to try and be offended at something. It is this dinner-party elbow-on-the-table with a wine glass in hand brigade. Listening to world music, nodding and agreeing with Jocasta and Henry about how awful it is. It is just awful isn't it.....yes it is awful....what is awful?... Awfully.
So no it is not good what they have done, but what we ALL have to stop doing is identifying things by the sex and race of those involved. Then we might for once see merit being the reason things are chosen.