08/10/2019 10:50 BST | Updated 08/10/2019 11:36 BST

TV Baftas To Introduce Guidelines Meaning Shows Must Meet Diversity Requirements To Be Nominated

From next year, nominated shows must feature at least one prominent figure from an "under-represented group".

Bafta has announced new changes to their annual TV awards to ensure that nominated shows are as diverse as possible.

As confirmed by the film organisation on Tuesday, shows submitted for consideration in the TV Baftas will be assessed against guidelines they first introduced by the BFI in 2014, in a bid to increase the visibility of underrepresented groups on screen.

More specifically, these rules relate to “disability, gender, race, age and sexual orientation”, with Radio Times claiming if a show is to be nominated, at least one of its main characters or presenters must be from an “under-represented group”.

Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi/BAFTA/Shutterstock
Bafta will introduce changes for next year's TV awards

They’ve also said Bafta is calling for a 50/50 gender balance when it comes to “secondary or more minor on-screen individuals”.

This rule change is being “piloted” for next year, with Radio Times’ News and Comment Editor Ben Dowell saying they are “likely to be permanent” from 2021 onwards.

Bafta CEO Amanda Berry said: “Working in close consultation with the BFI and the wider television industry, we are delighted to be piloting the introduction of the BFI Diversity Standards, with the plan to fully introduce diversity standards for 2021.

“Our aim is to bring the industry together to improve diversity and inclusion through sharing best practice, encouraging collaboration, driving change and, ultimately, to become more inclusive.”

Similar guidelines were announced for the TV Baftas’ film counterpart in July last year, which came into effect for this year’s ceremony, where Netflix original Roma was named Best Picture.

Meanwhile Rami Malek and Olivia Colman were named Best Actor and Actress for their performances in Bohemian Rhapsody and The Favourite, respectively.

The Baftas isn’t the only UK-based awards show making changes, though, with reports suggesting that the Brit Awards is planning to ditch its gendered categories from 2021 onwards, in what the Sunday Times claimed was the organisers’ way of “accommodating musicians who define themselves as non-binary”.