The shadow minister for the arts, Chris Bryant, has criticised the “disturbing” lack of diversity in British film-making, after no black or ethnic minority performers were honoured at the Baftas. The almost total absence of black actors and directors at the top of the industry “feels like an insulting throwback to a bygone era”,
Mr Bryant wrote. “A British film without any ethnic diversity can hardly portray the full richness of modern Britain,” he said.I suppose the fact that the films in question were mostly set in a time and place when there wasn’t so much of the ethnic diversity of ‘modern Britain’ Mr Bryant seems to love has no bearing on anything? I expect the introduction of a black Guinevere in BBC’s ‘Merlin’ was greeted with delight in the Bryant household.
The ‘Telegraph’, however, clearly favours talent:
Let’s hear it for the awkward Brits. On Sunday, two British stars scooped major entertainment awards on either side of the Atlantic, and yet, on the face of it, neither is obvious star material. Sam Smith is a plump, gay soul singer. Eddie Redmayne is a geeky, weedy, freckle-faced actor. Yet both are representatives of some distinctly British entertainment values in which talent supersedes glamour, a capacity for making a virtue of ordinary humanity that may be Britain’s greatest export strength in an over-polished, Americanised entertainment market.And a great antidote to the ‘quota’ system clearly favoured by the likes of Bryant.
It shouldn’t really matter how you look. It’s not important how cool you are, or how cutting edge. It matters how talented you are, and how you use that talent to make people feel something.Quite so. You might also say that it’s better to be a nation where people are not judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character…