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Oscars Not So White: Most Diverse Nomination List in a Decade

TheWrap logo TheWrap 1/24/2017

Tuesday’s Oscar nominations offered up the most nonwhite nominees in over a decade, on the heels of a major diversity push within the academy and a two-year #OscarsSoWhite protest.

Seven nominees were people of color including Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) and Dev Patel (“Lion”); a near-sweep in the Best Supporting Actress category for Viola Davis (“Fences”), Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”) and Octavia Spencer (“Hidden Figures”); Best Actor for Denzel Washington (“Fences”); and Best Actress for Ruth Negga (“Loving”).

The tally accounts for the most nonwhite acting nominees of any year since 2007.

Diverse Oscar nominees © The Wrap Diverse Oscar nominees

In addition, four of this year’s Best Picture nominees — “Fences,” “Hidden Figures,” “Lion” and “Moonlight” — are led by nonwhite casts. To say nothing of the record four black nominees in the Documentary Feature category including Ava DuVernay (“13th”), Raoul Peck (“I Am Not Your Negro”), Ezra Edelman (“O.J.: Made in America”) and Roger Ross Williams (“Life, Animated”).

Jenkins (“Moonlight”) became only the fourth black director to earn a Best Director nomination.

In addition, Jenkins and “Fences” screenwriter August Wilson snagged nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, the first time that two African Americans have earned writing nominations in the same year since Lonne Elder (“Sounder”) and Suzanne de Passe (“Lady Sings the Blues”) did so back in 1972.


In January, the academy made “a sweeping series of substantive changes” to their rules to change the face of its overwhelmingly white, male and older voting body.

The current Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, is the only African-American on the 51-member board — and initiated the changes, which included a 10-year membership term which can be renewed if the member is still active in motion pictures at the time of expiration.

By June, 25 to 30 percent of the new member invitations went to women, and about 15 percent to people of color.

Time will tell how the new changing academy will vote when it comes to the nominees. The Academy Awards air Feb. 26 on ABC.

Countries with most Best Foreign Language Film at Oscars


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