The End of the F***ing World executive producer Dominic Buchanan has written a six-page open letter revealing that he is “shattered” after being told by BAFTA that he cannot purchase a statue following the show’s triumph at the TV Awards last month.
The Channel 4 and Netflix drama, produced by Clerkenwell Films and Dominic Buchanan Productions, was a surprise big-winner on the night, scooping best drama series ahead of competition including The Crown. Naomie Ackie also took home the prize for best supporting actress.
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“I was shocked, I cried; 8 years of this personal journey on this project and our show wins a BAFTA! I won a BAFTA! My name is on the TV screen as a winner!” Buchanan wrote in the letter, which can be read in full here.
But Buchanan said his delight turned to anguish when he was told that he could not purchase an award. This is because BAFTA does not issue replica masks and only the four people named by producers on their entry receive a prize. Buchanan was not named on the entry, but he said this was agreed with Clerkenwell before it was submitted.
“I took it upon myself to message the BAFTA rep and ask if they would be sending me a copy of the award directly, since my name & company, “Dominic Buchanan Productions” is the co producer with Clerkenwell,” he said.
“A few days of no response and then, 7 whole days after the awards themselves, and a couple days after I emailed BAFTA, I got the fateful email response, in short: I would not be receiving the famed Mask.”
He added: “I couldn’t believe my eyes, they wouldn’t even allow me to buy a copy, much like the RTS Award, or the Peabody award that I have sitting in my flat. This prestigious BAFTA prize that I had apparently won, maybe I really didn’t? Oh, but I could purchase a winners certificate if I wanted that instead?!”
Buchanan suggested that BAFTA rules only allow for one executive producer to be named on an entry, but Deadline understands that this is not the case. Two executive producers were named on The End of the F***ing World’s 2018 entry, and neither were Buchanan.
A BAFTA spokeswoman said: “Our current rules around candidates for nomination for the 2020 Television Awards are clear and the decision on who is put forward as a named representative of the Production Team is made by the entrant and not BAFTA.
“In this instance, Dominic was not put forward in either 2018 or 2019 and no appeal was submitted through our appeals process at the point of entry. We continue to review our rules and eligibility criteria each year, and as part of our ongoing review the number of candidates for nomination is one of the elements under consideration.”
Buchanan stressed that the decision to exclude him was not racist, but early in his letter he wrote: “Let me tell you a story about how the system will always fail us, where archaic rules can inflict pain and trauma on all creators, but specifically how Black filmmakers/creatives like myself, and let’s be honest, other filmmakers/creatives of colour, will never truly feel supported nor included until these institutions change rapidly.”
His letter garnered support on Twitter. The End of the F***ing World director Destiny Ekaragha said:
So, that Bafta that "we" won wasn't as inclusive as I thought. Can't say I'm surprised but it still kinda hurts. Dominic Buchanan went through a madness to create TEOTFW, I went through a madness directing it. But. Same old, same old I guess… https://t.co/zBKQp87HRk
— Destiny Ekaragha (@Destinyfilms) August 10, 2020
Blue Story producer Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor added:
An open letter from Dominic Buchanan about his BAFTA win of “End of the ***** World” – please share. There are so many things to unpack here but grateful that he’s starting a conversation around BAFTA and their rules but also about the TV industry.
— Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor (@JoyGharoro) August 10, 2020