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BAFTAs 2020: Prince William branded a ‘hypocrite’ over speech about ‘diversity’

BAFTAs viewers have branded Prince William a ‘hypocrite’ after he delivered a speech about diversity at the annual awards ceremony. The 37-year-old royal, who has been president of the British Academy of Film Awards for the last 10 years, spoke about the importance of addressing racism and ensuring people of colour are represented among the […]

BAFTAs viewers have branded Prince William a ‘hypocrite’ after he delivered a speech about diversity at the annual awards ceremony.

The 37-year-old royal, who has been president of the British Academy of Film Awards for the last 10 years, spoke about the importance of addressing racism and ensuring people of colour are represented among the nominees and winners.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
William attended with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge (Credit: Gigi Iorio / SplashNews.com)

Read more: Palace ‘denies Meghan has landed role in TV reality series’ after splitting from royal family

Speaking last night (February 2 2020) at the Royal Albert Hall, the Duke of Cambridge said: “Both here in the UK and many other countries across the world, we are lucky to have incredible filmmakers, actors, producers, directors and technicians, men and women from all backgrounds and ethnicities, enriching our lives through film.

“Yet in 2020, and not for the first time in the last few years, we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and the awards process.

“That simply cannot be right in this day and age.”

Prince William
He said the Academy would be carrying out a “full and thorough” review (Credit: BBC)

“BAFTA [takes] this issue seriously,” he continued. “And following this year’s nominations, [we] have launched a full and thorough review of the entire awards process to build on [our] existing work and ensure that opportunities are available to everyone.”

Some viewers took issue with Prince William addressing diversity in his speech, particularly in light of his brother Prince Harry and sister-in-law Meghan Markle having to step down as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family.

That simply cannot be right in this day and age.

One said: “Prince William, the guy who said nothing as Meghan was [subjected] to racism, and his nephew was called a chimpanzee, is out here lamenting at the lack of diversity at the #BAFTAs.”

Another tweeted: “Does anyone else find it absurd that a privileged white male, who represents the antithesis of diversity, has the GALL to call out the organisation he is the head of for its lack of diversity? Un-bloody-believable!”

A third wrote: “Listening to the privileged, lazy hypocrite Prince William talking about diversity is like listening to his ancestor Henry the 8th criticise domestic violence #baftas #1917.”

A fourth put: “Prince William at the #BAFTAS: We need more diversity! Also, Prince William: *Senior Member of an institution which let someone be so bullied for being different that they escaped to Canada*.”

“William giving a speech at #BAFTAs on not doing enough on diversity only weeks after being instrumental in driving the only non white member of his family out and across the Atlantic! #icallhypocrisybillyboy,” someone else tweeted.

https://twitter.com/Crop1973/status/1224111073542004738

Read more: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laugh off awkward Harry and Meghan jibe at the BAFTAs

Not everyone took issue with William’s speech though, as some viewers considered it one of the highlights of the night.

“My highlights of the #BAFTAs @RebelWilson presenting the best director award and highlighting the lack of female nominees! #JoaquinPhoenix and William highlighting the lack of diversity,” said one.

“Well done to those actors, including HRH Prince William, who called out the awareness for diversity #BAFTAs,” wrote another.

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