BAFTA Noms: Oh-So-White

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced its nominees for the 70th BAFTA Awards early Tuesday morning. The group best known for bestowing the British equivalent of the Oscars included among its 20 acting nominees Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris, Fences’ Viola Davis and Lion’s Dev Patel, all in its supporting categories. (Harris and Patel are both British.) And yet, after reviewing the organization’s full list of nominees, it’s very hard to argue that it doesn’t have some sort of a race-related problem. That’s because two top-tier Oscar contenders who happen to be American-born people of color weren’t even nominated in categories they might well win at the Oscars on Feb. 26: Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins in the best director race (even though Moonlight was nominated for best film); and, in the best actor race, Fences’ Denzel Washington. A six-time Oscar nominee and two-time winner, Washington, it

turns out, has never been nominated for a BAFTA. (Neither has Oscar winner Morgan Freeman, perhaps the only active black actor more revered than Washington.)

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