It was all going so well. After decades of being lambasted for being a pointless, parochial pile of crap, the BAFTAs were getting there. They might not have had the status of the OSCARs, or the EMMYs, or even the (much maligned) Golden Globes, but they were at least coming close to respectability. No one outside of the UK gave a shit, but within the water-bound borders of this group of islands we’d begun to care. We even watched the telecast.
Then Twitter happened.
A few years ago it didn’t matter that the BAFTA show was broadcast an hour late. We could pretend it was live, but without the boring parts. Now it really does.
Over the last few years, thanks to Twitter, awards season has become a real ongoing event. More so than it’s been in decades, quite possibly more than it has ever been. Throughout the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the Oscars, people around the world have been discussing the results live, using Twitter. This works because the shows are broadcast live (or with a maximum delay of about one minute), allowing everyone to get the result at almost the same time, and without the risk of spoilers.
Then BAFTA came along and fucked everything up.
The BBC and BAFTA have a one hour delay on their broadcast. Quite why can only possibly be known by them. I wouldn’t care to speculate, but in doing so they render themselves utterly irrelevant. The new fun of 21st century awards shows is watching them on the TV while bitching about who won what with your 700 nearest and dearest hangers on.
The delay means we Twitter users will know who won before we even see them trot down the red carpet. Worse than this, it means the conversation loses synchronicity, as some will tweet about things as they happen, and the rest tweet an hour later. In short, it’s a TwitApartheid, and the question is why?
Seriously: Why? Last year we could let BAFTA off. Twitter was still new. There were far fewer people using it, and the popularity of awards season was a surprise. Since then BAFTA and the BBC must have received at least a few letters commenting on the situation (if not an absolute mountain of them), and yet they’ve done nothing about it.
Most of us on Twitter are proud of British film and the talent that makes it. We write long articles singing the praises of features as diverse as The King’s Speech, and Tony: London Serial Killer. We want an awards show we can be equally proud of.
As it happens.
You can see the original version of this post on Ben’s personal blog, Meejawhore. You might want to subscribe to his RSS feed, but it’s not really necessary – I’ll just keep taking everything interesting he writes and posting it here on Bleeding Cool (and, you know, editing it a bit).
We love him really (even though he seems to think Twitter consists mainly of people interested in tweeting about film, and not spambots, dullards recounting their last meal and Bieber/Gaga/Ashton Kutcher stalkers)