The BAFTA nominations are announced today but writer Jonathan Gems, who wrote Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks!, as well as White Mischief and 1984, argues the UK’s leading film body is becoming a politically correct, pointless clique:
For more than two decades the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) has been under fire for promoting foreign (mostly Hollywood) films rather than British films.
Why won’t they support British Cinema? The Government spends less than 1% of its budget on culture – and most of that goes on museum stuff: opera, ballet, theatre and preserving stately homes rather than making movies. By contrast, Israel truly understands the importance of national culture and sends 6% of its cash in that direction.
Now, BAFTA’s war on British culture has taken a new turn. In future, they will only consider for awards movies that employ the disabled, minority racial groups, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals. They call these new guidelines “diversity rules”.
While I’m all for diversity, totally cool with gays (without gays we’d still be in the Stone Age) and vehemently condemn any discrimination against transsexuals, bisexuals (who I used to think meant someone who’d had sex twice), minorities, vegans, cripples, geriatrics, Gingers, flat-earthers, Catholics, little people (we can’t use the words ‘dwarf’ or ‘midget’ anymore, though ‘little people’ sounds more demeaning, I think) and anyone else our gracious oligarchs in their splendid country houses decide are disadvantaged, I can’t help wondering if too much diversity is not a good thing.
If Britain becomes a hodge-podge of foreign cultures, British culture goes bye- bye. And no more culture means: no more identity – no more nation. We pop our clogs. Die. Become extinct.
Is this what we want? And, as for discriminating in favour of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, the disabled etc., I fully support it– so long as we discriminate in favour of everyone else too.
With movies, talent is what it’s all about. If a psychotic, transsexual Estonian is talented, let’s encourage him. Talent, whether present in a white, chinless Oxford graduate or a gay Somali shisha smoker should – and must – be honored. But let’s encourage confidence and enterprise in everyone – especially the young.
He who dares wins!
Britain is cursed by the class system (having never had a democratic revolution) so we still have paternalistic institutions like BAFTA patronizing the poor (in all their diversity) with lashings of virtue signaling and charitable initiatives that humiliate them: ‘Why, oh why are the paraplegic Nigerian lesbians so ungrateful?’
BAFTA is basically a phony, pompous, anti-British club that is overdue for abolition. In response to this, their latest act of virtue signaling, Philip Davies, MP, who sits on the UK Parliament’s Women & Equalities Committee, was quoted in the Telegraph, saying: “I am sure that this new criteria will be welcomed by the politically correct, out-of- touch, privileged film industry luvvies who will be patting themselves on the back for being trendy and right on…In the real world the vast majority of people believe in merit and want awards to go to the best films rather than the most politically-correct films.”
Another bleat was heard from Christian Butler, writing for Spiked, who pointed out that, under BAFTA’s new rules, the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall, could not be nominated for ‘Best Picture.’
Positive discrimination is degrading to its targets because it turns them into victims. It’s also corrupting. And most people don’t want to be corrupted – they want to succeed in life based on their own merits.
Frankly, it’s typical that, just as political correctness is being binned, and Donald Trump starts draining the swamp in Washington (and inspiring others to do the same in their own countries), BAFTA is waddling off in the opposite direction.
Wait and see. This will blow up in the smug, dim-witted, patrician faces of BAFTA’s commissars.
Jonathan Gems is currently making a documentary entitled “Who Killed British Cinema” and writing a book on the same subject