In Brief

Oscars under fire as top nominations branded ‘too white and male’

Academy comes under fire for lack of diversity among nominees


The Oscars are once again causing controversy for a lack of diversity among nominees, in a near-repeat of the 2015 #OscarsSoWhite backlash.

Only one person of colour has this year been nominated in an acting category, while just one non-white director was selected for the best director list.

The British actress and singer Cynthia Erivo was selected in the best supporting actress category, for her role as Harriet Tubman in biographical drama Harriet. Meanwhile, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho was nominated for best director for his black comedy thriller Parasite.

Sky News reports that this years’ nominees are “the least diverse line-up since the #OscarsSoWhite backlash... after which the film academy diversified their membership”. CNN adds that “the fact those efforts produced modest results this year… should produce some soul-searching, not just regarding the organisation, but the nature of the industry itself”.

Esquire echoed this, noting that “the Academy seems to have a blind spot when it comes to diverse films”. Edtior of Hollywood-focused news site Deadline, Dino-Ray Ramos, writes that the nominations are “basically #OscarsSo WhitePart 2:#OscarsSoWhiterAndWithMoreMen, a sequel to the hashtag originated in 2015 by April Reign for the lack of diverse nominees”.

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The BBC reports that the Oscars are also “sure to receive some censure for announcing another all-male line-up in its best director category”, after Greta Gerwig, nominated for best director in 2018 for Lady Bird, failed to make the cut with Little Women.

In a clear reference to the all-male selections, actress Issa Rae, who announced the categories with actor John Cho, said: “Congratulations to those men.”

The Oscars nominations come just days after a similar backlash against the BAFTA nods, which saw all-white acting categories and no women making the cut for best director. 

The Brits also came under fire for a lack of diversity last week, after just one British female artist was nominated across 25 available catagories. The list caused The Guardian to note: “This year's male-dominated Brit awards have an issue with women.”

In the nominations for this year's Academy Awards, controversial drama Joker leads the pack with 11 nods. The Irishman, 1917 and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood follow with 10 nominations each.

The Oscar winners will be announced at a ceremony in Los Angeles on 9 February.


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