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Prince William’s ‘Woke’ BAFTA Diversity Speech Sparks Fierce Backlash

Last Updated September 25, 2020 12:26 PM
Aubrey Hansen
Last Updated September 25, 2020 12:26 PM
  • Prince William, the Bafta’s president, commented that not for the first time, “we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and awards process.”
  • Best Actor award winner Joaquin Phoenix believes the situation sends a message that people of color are “not welcome here.”
  • The hashtag #BaftasSoWhite had been trending again because of the nominees announced ahead of the event.

As Prince William completed his closing remarks at the 2020 Baftas in London over the weekend, you just knew there was a hurricane of negative reaction coming his way.

The Bafta’s president addressed the elephant in the room and the main topic of the entire night’s proceedings. The lack of diversity at this year’s awards.

Prince William stated:

We find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and the awards process. That simply cannot be right in this day and age.

It didn’t take long for the subject of his brother, Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan Markle, to become part of the discussion online.

Prince William was on a hiding to nothing no matter what he said

How could Prince William stand there and say what he did?!? The Hypocrite! From standing back for years and allowing his sister-in-law to be pursued and hounded by a racially motivated British media to the lack of diversity within the ranks of his royal aides.

Yeah, poor Prince William got it from all sides as he made an attempt to address an issue that other rich white people had discussed earlier in the evening.

What was the alternative? He’s the Bafta’s president. It would have been a terrible mistake for him to wrap up the evening’s events without making mention of the issue. He really was in a no-win situation.

The public accusations thrown at him range from mildly surprising to absolutely outrageous.

Source: Twitter 

He’s a target for everything from being white to not publicly denying ridiculous rumors that don’t even deserve a response.

Even his wife, Kate Middleton, was subject to abuse for, wait for it, daring to promote sustainability.

Kate arrived for the evening wearing a dress that she had worn in public previously, but it seems that such acts aren’t worthy of applause. Why? Because if Meghan Markle had done so, she would have been slammed for it. Apparently.

Source: Twitter 

Rich, white actors crying about diversity seemed to be the theme of the evening

Best actor award winner Joaquin Phoenix led the apologies for the lack of diversity at this year’s awards  [The Guardian]. His words rank among the more memorable parts of the night.

The lack of minority award winners suggests to him that people of color are not welcome at the awards.

I’m guessing the thoroughly deserved award for best-adapted screenplay that Taika Waititi won for Jojo Rabbit  [The Guardian], a movie that saw six nominations doesn’t count. Or the two awards won by Parasite  [Soompi], directed by Bong Joon Ho and starring Song Sang Ho, mean nothing?

What about Robert De Niro? The legendary actor missing out on an award for his part in the epic The Irishman. That, for me, was the most significant talking point of the night.

Sometimes the people who vote for these awards are just plain wrong. It doesn’t always need to have a sinister agenda behind it.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.