Australian actress and comedian Rebel Wilson stole the show at the BAFTAs, using her introduction to the best director category to take aim at the lack of diversity in the nominations.
Her gag-filled speech criticised the lack of women nominated for best director, while also poking fun at the failure of her latest film Cats.
“I’m not sure if anyone has been across the controversy, but this year there has been a distinct lack of nominations for felines,” she said, commenting on the film’s poor performance.
“Even in this best director CAT-egory, no felines have been nominated.”
The five men who were nominated for best director at the BAFTAs, are the same men nominated in the same category at the Oscars.
The Oscars has already come under fire for snubbing female directors like Greta Gerwig, Lulu Wang and Marielle Heller.
“Sam Mendes, Martin Scorsese, Todd Phillips, Quentin Tarnation, Bong Joon-ho,” Wilson quipped.
“I look at the exceptional, daring talent nominated in this category and I don’t think I could do what they do. Honestly, I just don’t have the balls,” Wilson continued to an eruption of laughter from the audience.
Prince William, who is president of the BAFTAs, also broached the topic of diversity in his speech. This year, no actors of colour were nominated in main acting categories, while female directors were snubbed.
He said the academy has “launched a full and thorough review of the entire awards process.”
“We find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and the awards process,” he said.
“That simply cannot be right in this day and age.”
“I know that both Pippa [Harris], chair of BAFTA, and Amanda [Berry], BAFTA CEO, share that frustration and continue to work tirelessly to ensure that creative talent is discovered and supported.”