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The BAFTA Awards Address Gender Inequity with a Rule Change

The BAFTA TV and Craft Awards have changed their rules in a bid to improve gender parity among the nominees. Per the Hollywood Reporter, the top three male and top three female vote receivers in round one of both directing categories—Factual, and Fiction and Multi-Camera—as well as the entertainment performance category will automatically go through to jury consideration for the 2023 awards. 

“This new intervention, a first for the TV Craft Awards, will increase the visibility of women at longlisting stage, with the longer-term aim to encourage a greater representation of women considered,” read BAFTA’s press announcement. “This sits alongside BAFTA’s wider charitable work to level the playing field for all.”

Last year, there were no female directors nominated in either of the directing categories at the BAFTA TV Awards. Historically, no woman has ever been nominated for best director in the best factual director category, an unfortunate statistic, which the British organization We Are Women Doc (WADC) publicly decried last year. In the entertainment performance category, one woman, Alison Hammond, received a nomination out of six potential slots in 2022. 

Other changes are afoot for the British Academy. The original music category will now be split in two separate categories, Original Music: Fiction and Original Music: Factual. Furthermore, the BAFTAs acknowledged that the British Academy has historically favored scripted entries over non-scripted entries in the International category. In an effort to create balance, the top three non-scripted shows and the top three scripted shows will automatically make the BAFTA’s longlist.

“Television and the way in which audiences consume content is ever-evolving, and it’s essential we adapt alongside,” said Sara Putt, the deputy chair of BAFTA and chair of the BAFTA television committee. “As a mirror to the industry, we are in the privileged and unique position of being able to drive and influence positive change. I’m delighted that the updates to our 2023 BAFTA TV Awards announced today include specific interventions to address historic gender inequity, reflecting our commitment to widening representation, amplifying key craft roles across both ceremonies and leveling the playing field for all.”

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