DARKNESS FALLS: In a show of solidarity with their American counterparts, female nominees and guests plan to band together and wear black at the annual BAFTA Awards, which will take place in London on Feb. 18, WWD has learned.
According to sources, members of the British film industry want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their colleagues who wore black to the Golden Globes as part of the Time’s Up movement denouncing sexual assault and harassment in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement.
The BAFTA, or British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Awards are Britain’s answer to the Oscars and often point to who will scoop the golden statues in Los Angeles in March. This year’s BAFTA ceremony will take place at Royal Albert Hall.
Among this year’s nominees are Annette Bening, Frances McDormand, Margot Robbie, Sally Hawkins, Saoirse Ronan, Kristin Scott Thomas, Allison Janney, Lesley Manville and Octavia Spencer.
It was already going to be a big year for women at BAFTA, with the actress Joanna Lumley taking over from Stephen Fry as the awards host. She will be the first female host since 2001, when broadcast journalist Mariella Frostrup presented together with Fry.
Sources said the decision to don black for the event was made only recently and with a little less than three weeks to go, designers and brands are scrambling to replace their original choices with the color of the moment. The event this year will take place during London Fashion Week, putting further pressure on designers who are both showing and designing for the BAFTAs.
A BAFTA spokesman said Wednesday that the organization does not dictate a dress code and people are free to wear what they want to the ceremony. He declined to comment on whether there were specific plans in the works for female attendees to wear black.
As reported, designers have different views about the merits of actresses continuing to wear black to make a statement on the red carpet, and the decision by some not to name the person who created — and often loaned her the dress — during related interviews.
During the SAG Awards, which took place after the Golden Globes, actresses ditched black and wore pale hues, crimson, metallics and dark florals — although the focus was still on strength and solidarity among women in the industry.