20 Actors of Colour that deserved BAFTA 2020 nominations

Following the Golden Globes taking place over the weekend, award season is in full swing with the announcement of the BAFTA nominations this morning.

We celebrated female directors whose films were snubbed at the Golden Globes here, and though it’s heartening to see Waad Al-Kateab’s For Sama receive nominations for Outstanding British Film Outstanding British Debut and Documentary, women have still been shut out of the Director category, with nods to Lulu Wang’s The Farewell and Celine Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire in the Foreign Language category and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women for Adapted Screenplay.

There’s something else that stands out about the BAFTA nominations though: all 20 actors nominated in the Leading and Supporting categories are white.

In a phenomenal year of film for diverse filmmakers, it’s preposterous to claim that the best performances of the year were all delivered by white actors. Margot Robbie and Scarlett Johansson being nominated twice each is the icing on the cake. Is they talented actresses? Sure, but let’s not pretend there aren’t plenty of deserving actresses of colour who deserved those spots, not least Jennifer Lopez for her revelatory performance in Hustlers.

With that in mind, here is an alternative list of performances we think deserved to be considered on equal footing with the white nominees:

Supporting Actor

Jamie Foxx – Just Mercy
Jonathan Majors – The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Choi Woo-sik – Parasite
Sterling K. Brown – Waves
Taika Waititi – Jojo Rabbit

Supporting Actress

FKA Twigs – Honey Boy
Gugu Mbatha Raw – Motherless Brooklyn
Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
Lee Jeong-eun – Parasite
Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell

Leading Actor

Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory
Daniel Kaluuya – Queen & Slim
Dev PatelThe Personal History of David Copperfield
Eddie Murphy – Dolemite is my Name
Song Kang-ho – Parasite

Leading Actress

Alfre Woodard – Clemency
Ana de Armas – Knives Out
Awkwafina – The Farewell
Cynthia ErivoHarriet
Lupita Nyong’o – Us

The 73rd British Academy Film Awards ceremony takes place 2 February 2020.

Sneh Rupra

Co-founder & Editor

Sneh co-founded Outtake Mag with Laura. She has a day job in film PR and dreams of a day when everyone has equal opportunities in the film industry. Her opinions are always right, so jot that down.