All-White BAFTA Film Awards Nominations Spark #BAFTAsSoWhite Debate

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) sparked a debate about diversity Tuesday after it announced the all-white nominations for the top four acting categories at this year's BAFTA Film Awards.

The nominations, announced Tuesday morning in London, are led by newly-minted Golden Globe winners Joaquin Phoenix, Taron Egerton and Renee Zellweger. The acting fields also feature a who's who of big Hollywood names such as double nominees Scarlett Johansson (lead actress for Marriage Story and supporting actress for Jojo Rabbit) and Margot Robbie (two supporting actress nominations for Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood and Bombshell), Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt.

Nowhere in sight, however, were any people of color—despite The Farewell star Awkwafina winning a Golden Globe Sunday night and the critical acclaim for British actress-and-singer Cynthia Erivo in Harriet.

Awkwafina wins Golden Globe
Awkwafina poses in the press room during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty

On Twitter Tuesday morning, there was strong rebuke of the lack of people of color, with movie buffs tagging tweets with the hashtag #BAFTAsSoWhite. That phrase derives its origins from the #OscarsSoWhite social media campaign that plagued the Academy Awards in 2016.

"Not a single one of these people getting nominated for best actress did a better job than Lupita Nyong'o. There is a reason why she has dominated all the critics awards this season. This is ridiculous," said one Twitter user.

"#BAFTASSoWhite they nominated the same white woman twice in the same category so they wouldn't have to give a slot to a deserving actor of color," said another tweet.

"If anyone wants further evidence of the racism endemic in the UK film industry and how meaningless the diversity agenda is in the sector, take a look at the BAFTA nominations. This is apalling," said yet another Twitter user.

See more reactions below:

Although the main four acting categories featured no people of color, this year's Rising Star Award nominations featured mostly actors from diverse backgrounds including Awkwafina, Luce and It Comes At Night actor Kelvin Harrison Jr. and British actor Michael Ward, who recently appeared in the film Blue Story.

South Korean film Parasite also earned multiple nominations including best film, best film not in the English language, best director for Bong Joon-ho and best screenplay for Han Jin Won and Bong Joon-ho.

This year's BAFTA nominations were led by Joker, which received 11 nods, followed by The Irishman and Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, which received 10 nominations apiece. 1917 received nine nominations, while Jojo Rabbit earned six and Little Women, Marriage Story and The Two Popes all received five.

The BAFTA Film Awards take place on February 2.

All-White BAFTA Film Awards Nominations Spark #BAFTAsSoWhite Debate | Culture