As the BAFTA president, William gave his final remarks to close off the London show, addressing a hot topic of discussion that evening.
“We find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and the awards process,” he said to the crowd. “That simply cannot be right in this day and age.”
The Duke of Cambridge also praised the “exceptional filmmaking” celebrated at the ceremony, joking that he didn’t know if he should be “proud or slightly alarmed of the winners over the last decade who have portrayed members of my own family.”
The prince was referring to the hit show The Crown, which goes through the history of the British Royal Family.
“BAFTA take this issue seriously and, following this year’s nominations, have launched a full and thorough review of the entire awards process to build on their existing work and ensure that opportunities are available to everyone.”
All of this year’s nominees in the lead acting categories, as well as the supporting categories, were white. Nominees in the director category were all men.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were both present for the awards show and were also the subject of a playful dig in one acceptance speech.
“Brad couldn’t be here tonight so he asked me to read his response,” Robbie said. “He starts by saying: ‘Hey, Britain. I heard you just became single. Welcome to the club. Wishing you the best with the divorce settlement now, blah, blah, blah. He then says thank you to the academy for this extreme honour.’
“Oh, and he says he’s going to name this Harry because he is really excited about bringing it back to the States with him,” she said before leaving the stage.
The cameras panned to William and Kate Middleton, who laughed at the lighthearted joke.