BAFTA Chair Says He “Broke Down And Wept” In Diversity Meetings With Members

BAFTA Chair Krishnendu Majumdar has said that the org’s recent interrogation of its record on diversity has been an “emotional experience,” and that certain meetings left him in tears when he heard about how members from minority backgrounds had been treated by the industry.

“I chaired the majority of the 50+ meetings and some were a very emotional experience,” he wrote in a letter to BAFTA members today. “In several meetings I broke down and wept, as I heard some of the stories of how some people had been treated by the industry. The collective grief was overwhelming and a strong picture emerged of the lost generation of people of colour – careers and lives blighted by racism.”

“We heard similar evidence from many other under-represented groups who have been excluded by the industry – including female directors, LGBTQI+ and disabled creatives. But it’s not only emotion that drives us on to change. Real change comes from evidence, testimony and hard data.”

BAFTA has been conducting a thorough review since the controversy that erupted earlier this year over its 2020 nominations, which featured zero non-white acting contenders and an all-male directing field.

In today’s letter, Majumdar provided an update on progress for that report, revealing that the org will be publishing a report later this month compiled by an independent academic that will unveil the findings from its introspection.

He also said it would conduct the first survey of its entire membership for two years to better gauge the make-up of its members. “We want to build up as accurate a picture as we can, to inform our research, celebrate our strengths, and identify areas for improvement,” Majumdar wrote.

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