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February 14, 2017 at 11:20 pm #1202012351
With the Oscar race for best actor being arguably the most competitive, I am curious as to why Mr. Washington has never been a nominee. Do BAFTA voters have issues with the roles Denzel has played? Are the biased on only rewarding “certain” types of black roles? Or did Denzel do something in the UK to piss folks off? This is a topic that sort of comes up when discussing Denzel, but I would like some official insight. It’s really weird they keep ignoring him, and he’s also the most nominated actor African American Oscar history.
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FYC: Derbyite of the Year, 2017February 15, 2017 at 1:11 am #1202012409
There is no official insight. Only speculation.
Morgan Freeman has never been nominated for a BAFTA either. And he’s the 2nd most nominated African-American actor in history.
Speculation: Could be because both men are actually a threat to the established belief that the very greatest actors in history are white men, and BAFTA might be a bit behind the times on that score. Denzel and Freeman have transcended race (at least outside of BAFTA). Everyone knows who they are, even in the UK. And both can be rightfully compared to any actor ever on stage or film for skill and craft, regardless of race. As great and pioneering as Sidney Poitier was, he was always labeled (maybe unfairly) as great “for a black actor”, unfortunately. That somewhat condescending label hasn’t applied to Denzel and Freeman for a long, long time. Freeman, and especially Denzel are regarded as the very highest pinnacle of American acting, period.
Pauline Keal once famously posed the question whether Morgan Freeman was America’s greatest living actor. Scott Rudin said only yesterday in an LA Times article that the 3 greatest American actors ever, in his opinion, were Brando, George C. Scott and Denzel. None of the other black actors BAFTA have acknowledged in recent years (including their own British Chiwitel Ejiofor) come anywhere near that type of perception that Denzel and Freeman have for their overall greatness. The size of their reputations may work against them at this stage.
Whatever the reasons, it’s not really a good look for BAFTA at the end of the day, and says more about them than Denzel or Freeman. It sends out a pretty dispiriting and disgusting message that the two most honored black actors in history (12 Oscar nominations between them) aren’t worth one measly BAFTA nomination.February 15, 2017 at 5:43 am #1202012472
I actually don’t mind his lack of recognition for Glory and Training Day, two turns I personally consider vastly overrated. The Malcolm X snub, however, is a real head-scratcher.
For the finest in film reviews and awards analysis, please visit me at The Awards Connection!February 15, 2017 at 6:10 am #1202012491
If you research, you can find answers in his Oscar nominated roles and their release dates in the UK.
Because of this, several Oscar winners who were favorites, locked, sure bets, were snubbed at BAFTA too. Not just precious Denzel. And definitely not because of race. Also, BAFTA shamelessly became official Oscar sheep after Training Day, for example.February 15, 2017 at 6:10 am #1202012492
My guess would be that it’s down to most of Denzel’s films being very American in both style and plot. I wasn’t surprised at all when he missed for Fences because I didn’t imagine that the film as a whole was going to appeal to a British audience due to its a very bluntly American play text source material. In this vain the only miss that perhaps surprises me is Cry Freedom but that was his first nomination and so can be put down to him not being a memorable name yet.February 15, 2017 at 7:00 am #1202012521
Because they are racist.February 15, 2017 at 7:18 am #1202012543
My guess would be that it’s down to most of Denzel’s films being very American in both style and plot. I wasn’t surprised at all when he missed for Fences because I didn’t imagine that the film as a whole was going to appeal to a British audience due to its a very bluntly American play text source material. In this vain the only miss that perhaps surprises me is Cry Freedom but that was his first nomination and so can be put down to him not being a memorable name yet.
I disagree. They’ve gone hard for many “American style/plot films” that may have starred George Clooney or Brad Pitt. Fences is no more “American” that the very Boston-specific Manchester By The Sea, which they loved. It is more African-American though. Which may be what you actually meant.
They even went hard for American Gangster, nominating it for Best Picture. Denzel is actually a bigger box office draw in the UK than George Clooney (who they’ve nominated 4 times in acting categories for very “American” films). His films translate for British audiences, so that excuse doesn’t really make much sense.
Denzel won the Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear Best Actor Award for Malcolm X and The Hurricane, so it’s not as if he wasn’t being acclaimed outside America. If his work isn’t too “American” for the Germans, it’s a lame excuse for the British.February 15, 2017 at 8:36 am #1202012573
It’s disgraceful really how the BAFTAs have treated Denzel over the years, but he’s good with his two, possibly three, Oscars. He might get a meaningless BAFTA Fellowship when he’s 80, so all is not lost, I guess.February 15, 2017 at 9:52 am #1202012630
BAFTA LA acknowledged him with some special award in the last decade.February 15, 2017 at 10:20 am #1202012664
Anyone who thinks race doesn’t play a factor in this issue is in denial, although I’m sure it isn’t the only factor.February 15, 2017 at 10:57 am #1202012688
For fuck’s sake not everything’s about the race. Have you ever thought they might just not care about him? As simple as that. They might not consider him to be one of the best.February 15, 2017 at 11:13 am #1202012695
They probably just don’t like him. They don’t love him like they do Amy Adams or Meryl Streep or Judi Dench.February 15, 2017 at 11:49 am #1202012722
For fuck’s sake not everything’s about the race. Have you ever thought they might just not care about him? As simple as that. They might not consider him to be one of the best.
That’s some ignorant nonsense. You think BAFTA doesn’t have a race problem? They’ve always had one, and still have one to this day.
Why do you think they just introduced a “diversity” quota for their British Film categories?….to literally force their membership to have to choose British films that didn’t only deal with white perspectives and concerns. BAFTA (the people at the top anyway) literally admitted that they had at least a partially racist membership by enforcing these rule changes.
From 2019, if a British movie doesn’t have a certain percantage of ethnic minority involvement in front of and behind the camera, they can’t get nominated for British film categories. You know your membership is fucking racist, if you can’t trust them to nominate non-white British films and have to go this far.
Black British and British Asian fillmakers have been campaigning for years to have their work recognised by the British film industry, but they know BAFTA are not here for them. It’s actually a huge thing in the UK, and that’s why BAFTA had to make those changes. If BAFTA wasn’t so interested in sucking up to the Oscars, there’d be a lot less need for them to even nominate something like Moonlight. If Moonlight were British, it’s odds of getting nominated for anything would be far lower. Because BAFTA has a race problem. WHICH THEY ADMIT!
You sound like one of those people who think having to actually talk about racism….is worse than actual racism or racist behavior. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone, and it’s a common state.
You need to recognise that institutionalised racism in British organisations like BAFTA are commonplace, and people are still striving to fix. If you aren’t part of the solution, you are pretty much part of the problem. It’s hilarious that BAFTA themselves can admit they are racist (and at least are taking steps to change), yet you’ll still have keyboard warriors on the internet saying “there’s no problem here, stop making everything about race”.LOL!
I’ve been harsh on BAFTA, but I do have to give some credit to their leadership for trying to make some change and progress with these new rules. They know there’s a problem in their membership, but I think the people at the head of BAFTA deserve credit for their efforts.February 15, 2017 at 1:13 pm #1202012794
I think late releases and being under seen has a lot to do with it.
Fences –> 10 February 2017 (Received one Bafta nomination for Viola Davis; received four Oscar nominations)
Flight –> 1 February 2013 (Received no Bafta nominations; received two Oscar nominations)
Training Day –> 1 February 2002 (Received no Bafta nominations; received two Oscar nominations)
The Hurricane –> 24 March 2000 (Received no Bafta nominations; received one Oscar nomination)
Malcolm X –> 5 March 1993 (Received no Bafta nominations; received two Oscar nominations)
Glory –> 2 March 1990 (Received one Bafta nomination for a British Cinematographer; received five Oscar nominations)
Cry Freedom -> 26 November 1987 (Received seven Bafta nominations; received five Oscar nominations)
Remember all of Bafta get to vote on acting nominations not just actors, so having a film that is a tech player or high in the Best Picture race can only help your film get seen and increase your chances. Fences is the first Denzel film that was nominated for Best Picture at either Bafta or Oscar. None were really tech players. All but Cry Freedom were late releases. Pre-2000 acting categories only had four nominees.
The only time a film he was Oscar nominated in had an early release date and did well at Bafta was Cry Freedom, he was unlucky that the Bafta Supporting Nomination for that film went to British TV legend John Thaw.
You can do the same thing with Morgan Freeman’s nominations:
Invictus Released: 5 February 2010 Bafta Result: Shutout
Million Dollar Baby Released: 14 January 2005 (No Screeners) Bafta Result: Shutout
The Shawshank Redemption Released: 17 February 1995 Bafta Result: Shutout
Driving Miss Daisy is probably the only real snub. It was nominated for Picture, Director and screenplay and won Actress. This is still an underperformance compared to Oscar (4 nominations vs 9) so the argument could be made that Morgan Freeman has as many Bafta snubs as Dan Aykroyd.
My theory is that distributors don’t think films about race have much chance in Britain, where class divide is much more the issue than race divide. So they set the last possible date to still be in awards contention, due to the late dates the films are underseen and don’t get nominated and so the vicious circle continues.February 15, 2017 at 1:24 pm #1202012807
Lol at the excuses for their blatant racist behavior. It’s time to call a Spade a Spade, my Dear. They didn’t want the backlash that the Oscars got so they announced some bs diversity initiative. Only to go back to passing over respected actors like Denzel and directors like Barry Jenkins.