BAFTA TV Awards Add Diversity Standards, Scrap U.K. Premiere Rule

BAFTA Award - Getty - H 2017
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The British Academy bent its own rules this year by giving 'Killing Eve' — which bowed in the U.S. first — 14 nominations.

Having already applied diversity requirements to its film awards, the British Academy is now set to deploy them to TV. 

Announced Tuesday, BAFTA will pilot the BFI Diversity Standards to all U.K. production categories at the BAFTA TV Awards, with an aim to introduce them fully for the 2021 Awards. 

As per the film awards, entries into these categories must now meet at least two of the four BFI Diversity Standards, the British Film Institute's guidance policy for project funding that focuses on underrepresented groups across four areas: onscreen representation, themes and narratives; project leadership and creative practitioners; industry access and opportunities; and opportunities for diversity in audience development.

"Working in close consultation with the BFI and the wider television industry, we are delighted to be piloting the introduction of the BFI Diversity Standards, with the plan to fully introduce diversity standards for 2021," said BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry. "Our aim is to bring the industry together to improve diversity and inclusion through sharing best practice, encouraging collaboration, driving change and, ultimately, to become more inclusive."

BAFTA has also cleared up an issue that arose this year, when Killing Eve earned 14 nominations, winning best drama and best actress for Jodie Comer, despite — as a BBC America title — having premiered in the U.S. before the U.K.

While BAFTA was then considered to have bent its own eligibility criteria, which said shows "must have had the worldwide premiere transmission in the U.K.," it has now scrapped the rule entirely, enabling programs to qualify as U.K. productions despite premiering elsewhere. However, such shows must air to U.K. audiences 'within the calendar year,' and be initiated and developed in the U.K., with a U.K. broadcaster having 'primary editorial control.'"

"As we see British creative talent and productions increasingly capturing global audiences, we feel now in the right time to make this adjustment," said Hannah Wyatt, chair of BAFTA’s television committee.

As announced in August, BAFTA will also be introducing a casting category to both the film and TV awards in 2020. 

The British Academy Television Craft Awards will take place April 26. The BAFTA Television Awards will take place May 17. Nominations for both awards will be announced in March.