BAFTA Under Fire After Actress Says She Faced Racist Remarks in Its Diversity Program
- BAFTA’s Elevate program, aimed at promoting diversity, is under scrutiny following claims from an actress who said she experienced racism while participating in it.
- India Eva Rae told BBC News that the program is just a “PR exercise” and that participants were being used to “clean up” the British Academy of Film and Television Art’s image.
- Rae, who has an auditory processing disorder, said a casting director called her “exotic talent” and claimed they could not “understand the English coming out [her] mouth.” Rae also said she was advised to take English and pronunciation lessons.
- A representative for BAFTA said the academy is taking the allegation very seriously and will investigate.
Actress Says She Experienced Racism in BAFTA Elevate
A program established to promote diversity in the British Academy of Film and Television Arts is under fire after a member said she experienced racist comments while participating in it.
The program, called BAFTA Elevate, is “designed to support people from underrepresented groups in the screen industries progress their careers and encourage inclusion across the industries,” according to BAFTA’s website.
However, actress India Eva Rae, who is part of the initiative’s 2019-2020’s class of actors, told BBC News that the program is just a “PR exercise.” She also said that it did not provide the opportunities it claimed to and that participants were merely recruited to “clean up” BAFTA’s image.
Rae starred in Channel 4’s “On the Edge.” She has an auditory processing disorder, and actors with disabilities are among those encouraged to participate in Elevate.
She told BBC that during a meeting, a casting director called her “exotic talent” and told her, “I can’t understand the English coming out your mouth.” Rae said she was also advised to take English and pronunciation classes.
When she tried to ask a BAFTA mentor for guidance, they allegedly told her to not say anything about the incident.
“This mentor told me and other members of the group that we will never work again if we speak up,” Rae told BBC.
Rae also said that when she tried to raise a formal complaint, she was told her role in the program could be in jeopardy. However, a BAFTA representative told BBC that Rae misunderstood the situation. They said that if a “formal complaint is launched, it might pause participation to ensure a complainant was supported, but that they would consider extending their place on the programme.”
A BAFTA spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that the academy plans to investigate these allegations.
“In one isolated incident, an Elevate participant has voiced some concerns over comments made to her,” they said in a statement. “BAFTA condemns bullying, harassment, racism and discrimination of any kind and we take allegations of this nature incredibly seriously and will investigate urgently.”
However, BAFTA maintained that the program has had an overall positive impact on those involved.
“We know firsthand from very many people who have been part of the initiative that they have really benefited from it, and for some it has been truly career-changing,” the statement continued.
BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry told BBC that every Elevate participant is asked about their needs in paperwork and during conversations prior to starting. She said that while they don’t have in-house disability advisers, a slew of experts help out. If someone does not have the support they need, Berry said that BAFTA steps in to offer it.
“It is a matter of great sadness and regret for me that anyone would feel this way, and our door remains completely open to find a solution, and to ensure that every participant benefits from the scheme,” Berry told the outlet.
Rae said that she is not from the world of entertainment and when she was cast by Channel 4, she was homeless. Now that she has found herself in a position to enact change, she feels a responsibility to do so.
“I’m very conscious of my privilege of being in these rooms and my duty of care to speak up,” she explained to BBC.
See what others are saying: (BBC News) (The Hollywood Reporter) (Deadline)
Max to Agrees to “Properly” Credit Writers and Directors After Facing Backlash For Lumping Them in As “Creators”
The company said the credits were laid out incorrectly due to “an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max.”
After film and television writers slammed Max for crediting all writers, producers, and directors as general “creators” on its platform, the company said it will be adjusting its credits display.
“We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized,” the streaming service said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Max — the new rebrand of HBO Max that incorporates Discovery content — launched on Tuesday to much criticism. Amid glitches and app-switching confusion, the biggest backlash it faced was over the choice to lump creative roles into one credit section called “creators.” As one viral tweet noted, if a user were to select the film “Raging Bull,” the service’s display would not specifically credit Martin Scorsese as the director, rather, his name would be included at random with half a dozen other people, including writers and producers.
The decision was condemned by many in the industry who argued it minimizes writers and directors by not properly giving them credit where it is due. Especially amid the ongoing writers’ strike, and with directors and actors starting negotiations with studios, some took it as a slap in the face.
“The studios don’t want anyone to know our names,” writer Christina Strain tweeted. “It’s easier to pay us nothing if we’re faceless.”
“Another move from studios to diminish the role of writers, directors, actors and other craftspeople. Miss me wit this nonsense,” Jorge Rivera, the Vice-Chair of the Writers Guild’s Latinx Writers Committee, added.
In a statement, Directors Guild President Lesli Linka Glatter said that Warner Bros. Discovery’s choice to “collapse” these roles into one credit “while we are in negotiations with them is a grave insult to our members and our union.”
“The DGA will not stand for it,” Glatter continued.
WGA West President Meredith Stiehm claimed the move was “a credits violation,” as well as an insult “to the artists that make the films and TV shows that make their corporation billions.”
On Wednesday, Max said it would rework its crediting.
“We will correct the credits, which were altered due to an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max and we apologize for this mistake,” the platform said.
See what others are saying: (Gizmodo) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Los Angeles Times)
A Quarter of Young British Men Support Andrew Tate’s Thoughts on Women
U.K. residents at large, however, do not view him favorably.
Even under house arrest in Romania, misogynist influencer Andrew Tate still holds substantial sway over young men.
According to data from YouGov that was obtained by The Independent, 26% of U.K. men between 18 and 29 years old who know of Tate agree with his views on women. That figure was largely the same for men between 30 and 39, as 28% agreed with Tate’s opinions on the subject.
Men in their 30s were slightly more likely to agree with Tate on his thoughts about masculinity. Three out of ten supported those views, compared to just a quarter of men 18 to 29.
Those statistics only include the thoughts of men who have heard of Tate, but per YouGov, most have. In the 18 to 29 group, 93% were familiar with him, and 86% of men in their 30s knew of him.
The U.K. at large was less aware of Tate, with just 63% of British adults having heard of him. Of that group, only 6% held a positive view of him.
Tate has faced substantial backlash for his sexist rhetoric over the years. In the past, he said that men should have “authority” over their wives or girlfriends, and that women should “bear some responsibility” for being raped. He was previously banned from Twitter over his extremist views on women but has since been allowed back on the platform.
He is currently being investigated in Romania for organized crime and human trafficking. He was arrested and held in custody in December but was released to house arrest earlier this year. No formal charges have been filed against him yet and he has maintained his innocence.
Tate currently boasts a Twitter following of 6.7 million. It has grown significantly since he was enveloped in legal controversy, and many of his supporters have demanded his release.
See what others are saying: (The Independent) (Glamour U.K.)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Involved in “Near Catastrophic” Paparazzi Chase
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” a spokesperson for the couple said.
“Aggressive” Paparazzi Chase Couple in New York
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were involved in a “near catastrophic” paparazzi car chase Tuesday night in New York City, according to a spokesperson for the couple.
In a statement, the spokesperson described the photographers as “highly aggressive.”
“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” the statement added.
“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” it continued.
Details of the incident are still emerging, but BBC News reported that there are claims the chase involved roughly six cars driving recklessly by running red lights, driving on the sidewalk, carrying out blocking moves, going backward on a one-way road, and taking pictures while driving.
The chase happened after Harry and Meghan were leaving the Women of Vision Awards with Meghan’s mother, Doria. They did not want photographers to learn where they were staying and attempted to avoid them in what turned into a 75-minute chase on a main road in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. They eventually ducked into a New York Police Department Precinct to hide out before getting into a different vehicle.
The NYPD released a statement confirming that they assisted in protecting the couple as “numerous photographers” hindered their transport. Officials said they made it to their destination and there were no collisions, injuries, or arrests.
The couple’s spokesperson is asking the public to not share or post footage of the incident.
“Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved,” the spokesperson said.
Memories of Princess Diana
The chase evokes the brutal press hounding Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was subjected to throughout her life. The paparazzi’s obsession with her ultimately resulted in her death in 1997, when she was killed in a car crash after being chased by photographers in Paris.
Since marrying Meghan and later bowing out of the Royal Family, Harry has made it explicitly clear that he fears those events could happen again. Meghan has been the subject of endless tabloid scrutiny, enduring racism and harassment from the press. Part of the reason they left the Royal Family was to keep their family protected from such attacks.
Mayor Eric Adams brought up Diana’s tragic passing while speaking about Tuesday night’s chase.
“I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how [Harry’s] mom died,” Adams said while speaking to reporters. “And it would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and something to have happened to them as well…I think that was a bit reckless and irresponsible.”
Adams also questioned whether or not he believes a chase could go on for two hours in a city as congested as New York, but noted that even a 10-minute chase would be dangerous. He said he will be briefed on the exact timeline and details later.