Idris Elba (Luther, Thor) is to be honored with the BAFTA Special Award at the upcoming 2020 BAFTA Television Awards, per The Hollywood Reporter. The award will be presented to Elba by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for his “creative contribution to television” (Radio Times).
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the BAFTA Television Awards ceremony was supposed to be held in May but will now take place in a closed studio on July 31st. Elba first became popular on television while starring as Stringer Bell on HBO’s The Wire (creator David Simon), which ran from 2002 to 2004. He went on to star in multiple big screen and small screen productions including Jada Pinkett Smith’s The Human Contract and Ridley Scott’s American Gangster. He also starred as Charles Miner on season 5 of NBC’s The Office (created by Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, and Stephen Merchant). His most popular television role was as DCI John Luther in BBC One’s detective drama, Luther (created by Neil Cross), which ran from 2010-2019.
Elba has starred in multiple big-budget films such as Thor and Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation. He has used the influence and popularity he gained through these roles to push for more diversity in both the film and television industries. Most notably, Elba has helped minorities to become discovered and recognized for their talent in film and television by providing on-the-job training through his production company, Green Door Pictures.
In a statement, Elba said of the BAFTA Special Award, “It’s a great privilege to be honored with the BAFTA Special Award. It’s been a mission of mine to provide opportunity and access to emerging talent from diverse backgrounds in this industry, which is the same opportunity I received many years ago from open minded and diversity conscious casting. I thank BAFTA for recognizing myself and others who are dedicated to the same cause, as these are all necessary steps towards helping to shift the awareness and understanding of the diversity gap in entertainment” (The Hollywood Reporter).