#OscarsNOTSoWhite: Hollywood’s Trend Towards Diversity

The Golden Globes celebrated diversity in film and television of 2016 when they aired on January 8, providing a sharp contrast to the #OscarsSoWhite Controversy that blew up during at last year’s Academy Awards. Furthermore, the recent announcement of the Oscar Nominations followed the lead of the Golden Globes, having a color-diverse nominee pool particularly in the acting categories.

The 2016 Academy Awards faced backlash when all the nominees for acting categories were white for the second year in a row. Artists such as Spike Lee, Will Smith and Michael Moore all boycotted the ceremony, with Lee writing on Instagram he would not attend because he “cannot support it.” At the time of the nominations, 77% of the Academy (the people who vote for the awards) were Caucasian. The host of the show, Chris Rock, commented on the controversy in his opening monologue, referring to the awards ceremony as the “White People’s Choice Awards.”

But this year’s Golden Globes had a much more diverse nominee pool, and the winners reflected this too. Moonlight, a film with a predominantly black cast, took home Best Motion Picture – Drama. The film’s actors also received recognition, with nominees in the Supporting Actor and Lead Actress Categories as well as nominee for Best Director.

The nominations for the 2017 Academy Awards were released recently, and the message of #OscarsSoWhite had definitely been heard. Four of the nine films nominated for Best Picture tell the stories of people of color. Films such as Moonlight, Fences, Hidden Figures, and Lion, which all feature actors of color in leading roles, were given nominations for their acting. Additionally, the documentary 13th, which examines America’s prison system’s disproportionately black population, was nominated. The Oscars will air on February 26th on ABC.

Images: Barry Jenkins, director of Moonlight, gives the Golden Globes acceptance speech for Best Motion Picture Drama; Chris Rock hosted the Oscars in 2016. Image source: Variety; Odyssey.

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