Bafta TV Awards will have to consider diversity targets for first time

The board will have to consider a new set of eligibility rules for entrants in 2020

Polished BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) masks sit in a box during a photocall at the New Pro Foundries, west of London on January 31, 2017. 
(Getty, HF)

A new set of rules considering eligibility and diversity will be piloted at the 2020 Bafta TV Awards.

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For the first time, the board will now have to consider diversity targets under a new set of eligibility rules for entrants, after they were successfully applied to this year’s Bafta Film Awards.

Radio Times magazine reports the new rules mean entries for the TV awards, which are set to open this month, will be assessed against the British Film Institute’s Diversity Standards.

The guidelines were originally introduced in 2014 in order to increase both the participation and the representation of minorities and socially disadvantaged people. Race, gender, disability, age and sexual orientation are all taken into consideration.

One of the new rules requires that at least one of the lead characters, contributors, presenters or voice artists in any programme are from a under-represented group.

A 50-50 gender balance for secondary, or more minor on-screen individuals, is now also stipulated.

Phoebe Waller Bridge Jodie Comer Bafta TV (Getty)

Bafta will also aim to cater for nominations from on-demand shows from streaming giants, with the board no longer requiring entries to premiere in the UK in order to be eligible. However, programmes for consideration must be shown in the UK within the calendar year in order to enter.

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The move comes after Bafta bent the rules for Killing Eve at this year’s ceremony, after the BBC thriller was broadcast in America before being shown in the UK. Having received 14 nominations, Killing Eve picked up Best Drama Series, Best Leading Actress for Jodie Comer, and Best Supporting Actress for Fiona Shaw.