BAFTAs 2020 opening skit takes aim at Laurence Fox's 'diversity' comments

Tom Beasley
Asim Chaudhry as Chabuddy G in 'People Just Do Nothing'. (Credit: BBC)

Asim Chaudhry reprised his role from sitcom People Just Do Nothing for a BAFTAs opening skit which took aim at controversial star Laurence Fox.

Prior to host Graham Norton’s opening monologue at tonight’s ceremony, Chaudhry appeared as his character Chabuddy G from the BBC mockumentary series.

According to The Independent, Chaudhry was shown auditioning 1917 director Sam Mendes and Jojo Rabbit leading man Roman Griffin Davis for the job of introducing Norton to the stage.

Read more: Keep up with all of the winners from the 2020 BAFTAs

He told Mendes: “If you need any more brown guys for your war films, contact my agent. He’s Laurence Fox.”

Laurence Fox speak onstage at the Walpole British Luxury Awards 2019. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Walpole)

Fox has recently been criticised for an appearance on Question Time and for claiming on a podcast that the inclusion of a Sikh soldier in 1917 was an example of diversity for diversity’s sake.

He said: “There is something institutionally racist about forcing diversity on people in that way.”

Many pointed out on social media that soldiers from Asia fought alongside British forces during the First World War.

This year’s BAFTAs has been criticised for a lack of diversity, with only white people nominated across all four acting categories.

The Independent reported that Norton — replacing last year’s widely criticised host Joanna Lumley — also made several references to the diversity row in his opening monologue.

Read more: Most controversial BAFTAs moments

He described 2019 as “the year when white men finally broke through” and said Joker was “the story of a white men who makes himself even whiter”.

Joker leads the field at the BAFTAs with 11 nominations, followed by The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with 10 each.