Affirmative Action has arrived to the United Kingdom, more specifically Britain and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. BAFTA is essentially the equivalent to the Oscar Awards / Academy here in the United States of America. They have introduced a series of things that a film must include in order to be up for nomination for Outstanding British Film and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer. So basically, in order to get high praise from a respected organization in the Film industry, your movie must meet at least two out of a list of a few social justice qualifiers. Including, but not limited to, age, gender, sexuality, race, and disability.
This is not a surprising thing coming off of the heels of the #OscarsSoWhite kerfuffle earlier in 2016 here in the United States. A gallery of idiots essentially cried on Twitter and other social media platforms until those cries became loud enough for people in the streets to hear. Very famous people such as Jada Pinkett Smith picked up on it and began to speak out. She publicly said that she’d be boycotting the Oscars because of her husband being “snubbed.” Jada was very clear that she thought it was racially motivated. Chris Rock was unfortunately the host that year, and he had no choice but to address the elephant in the room during the show, which just prolonged it’s duration in the minds of the general public.
To the surprise of few, #OscarsSoWhite made impacts not just stateside, but also overseas. Here in the states, The Academy announced that they would be seeking out more “diversity” in their selection of awards. Even though they were not very transparent with what they’d be doing. BAFTA has essentially done the same thing just a few coincidental months later. Unlike The Academy, BAFTA is being transparent with the exact things they are looking for. Quotas, just like Affirmative Action, must be had in order to meet these criteria for nominations and also victories. Or else, the announcement of more diversity in their award considerations followed up with specific transparency will be followed up with pitchforks if results aren’t seen when they are expected when this begins in 2019.
Art should be about producing beautiful things, not about fulfilling social justice quotas. Unfortunately, in a world of triggering at every corner, that’s just where we are.