The Prince left Hollywood stars gathered at the Royal Albert Hall in central London last night in stitches as he revealed how impressed he was at the number of BAFTAs won by films and TV shows focused on his family. During his keynote speech, the Duke of Cambridge, who is also the President of BAFTA, said: “I am particularly proud to stand here tonight having served as BAFTA’s President for the last 10 years.
“However, I must admit I don’t know whether I should be proud, or slightly alarmed, about the number of winners over the last decade who have portrayed members of my own family.”
William didn’t name films or actors, but he may have referred to Olivia Colman , who currently plays Queen Elizabeth II in the third season of The Crown and won a BAFTA last year for her outstanding portrayal of Queen Anne in The Favourite.
The Duke may have also referred to The Queen, a 2006 film which won BAFTAs for the categories Best Film and Best Actress in a Leading Role – awarded to Helen Mirren.
Another film focused on the Royal Family highly celebrated at the BAFTA has been The King’s Speech, focused on Prince William’s great-grandfather, late King George VI.
The Duke of Cambridge’s speech started on a light note, but also tackled the topic of diversity after BAFTA organisers have been widely criticised on social media for nominating mostly white men in the leading categories.
Prince William said: “Both here in the UK and in many other countries across the world we are lucky to have incredible film-makers, actors, producers, directors and technicians – men and women from all backgrounds and ethnicities enriching our lives through film.
“Yet in 2020, and not for the first time in the last few years, we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and in the awards process – that simply cannot be right in this day and age.
“I know that both Pippa (Harris), chair of Bafta and Amanda (Berry), Bafta CEO, share that frustration and continue to work tirelessly to ensure that creative talent is discovered and supported.
“Bafta takes this issue seriously, and following this year’s nominations, have launched a full and thorough review of the entire awards process to build on their existing work and ensure that opportunities are available to everyone.”
His remarks and concerns mirrored the one already expressed by actor Joaquin Phoenix, who triumphed in the Best Actor in a Leading Role category for his portrayal of the Joker.
In his speech, Phoenix said he had felt “conflicted” on receiving the award “because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have that same privilege.
He continued: “We send a very clear message to people of colour that you are not welcome here.
“I’m ashamed to say that I’m part of the problem.”
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