The British Film Institute Will No Longer Fund Films That Feature Villains With Facial Scars

Movie Villains by Joey Paur

Well, this is interesting. The British Film Institute has announced that they will no longer fund films that feature villains with facial scars.

Facial scars on villains has been a staple in the film industry for years! There are so many of them and I’m sure you can think of a ton of them right off the bat. Some of the most notable include The Joker, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Kylo Ren, Freddy Kruger, and tons of others.

According to Telegraph, the goal of the BFI is to “remove the stigma from facial disfigurement by casting actors who do not fit the traditional Hollywood aesthetic. Ben Roberts, the BFI’s deputy CEO had this to say in a statement:

“Film is a catalyst for change and that is why we are committing to not having negative representations depicted through scars or facial difference in the films we fund.

“This campaign speaks directly to the criteria in the BFI diversity standards, which call for meaningful representations on screen. We fully support Changing Faces’s #IAmNotYourVillain campaign, and urge the rest of the film industry to do the same.”

I get what they are trying to do and I think it’s fine. But, I will say that sometimes a scar on a villain is pertinent to the story. I don’t know if they will be making exceptions to that, but if this new movement catches on, we might start seeing less and less villains rocking facial scars in movies.

This effort is in support of a charity called Changing Faces, which launched a campaign called #IAmNotYourVillain. Becky Hewitt, Changing Faces’s chief executive, explained why this is an important topic:

“The film industry has such power to influence the public with its representation of diversity, and yet films use scars and looking different as a shorthand for villainy far too often. It’s particularly worrying…to see that children don’t tend to make this association until they are exposed to films that influence their attitudes towards disfigurement in a profoundly negative way.”

They are just trying to drive the point home that people who have facial scars aren’t all villains and they don’t want kids growing up thinking that they are villains.

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