The '12 Years a Slave' director says the British Academy of Film and Television Arts needs to change or they will become 'irrelevant' if they continue overlooking black actors and filmmakers.

AceShowbiz - Steve McQueen has warned BAFTA chiefs are at risk of becoming "irrelevant" after black actors and filmmakers were snubbed in the nominations for this year's 2020 film awards.

British Academy of Film and Television Arts bosses were left embarrassed last week after their members failed to nominate any black and minority ethnic stars for awards at next month's ceremony.

The 2014 Oscar winner, who has also won two BAFTAs, criticised the lack of diversity in the nominees, rejecting organisers' claims it is down to wider issues with representation in the film industry.

"After a while you get a bit fed up with it," he tells The Guardian. "Because if the BAFTAs are not supporting British talent, if you're not supporting the people who are making headway in the industry, then I don't understand what you are there for."

"Unless the Baftas wants to be like the Grammys, which is of no interest to anyone, and has no credibility at all, then they should continue on this path," he added, referring to the criticism of U.S. Recording Academy bosses for snubbing black artists. "If not then they have to change. Fact."

McQueen went on to cite a number of British stars and filmmakers who he thinks should have received recognition, including Cynthia Erivo for "Harriet", and Daniel Kaluuya for his performance in "Queen & Slim", and also criticised its all-male list of directing nominees.

The "Hunger" filmmaker went on to warn if British bodies failed on diversity, they would experience a talent drain as stars and creatives move to Hollywood to find success.

"It's right there and unless it is looked at, people are just not going to bother." he explained. "People will go elsewhere. With the Baftas, if filmmakers are not recognised visually in our culture, well what's the bloody point? It becomes irrelevant, redundant and of no interest or importance. End of."

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