The curse of #OscarsSoWhite has ended.
Before the sun rose in Hollywood on Tuesday morning, Academy voters ended two years of a “whiteout” among nominees in major acting categories.
In 2015 and 2016, all 20 actors nominated in the lead and supporting acting categories were white, inspiring the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite and sparking intense conversation in the industry to refocus efforts on representation and inclusion.
But this year, those honored are far more diverse. Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) and Dev Patel (Lion) are best supporting actor nominees, while three of the best supporting actress nominees are black: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight) and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures).
Twitter noticed immediately: “Wow 3 Black women are nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category. #Oscars #OscarNoms,” tweeted @BlackGirlNerds.
The lead categories are the least diverse in 2017, but are still not all-white. Denzel Washington is vying for best lead actor for Fences, competing against Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) and Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea).
In the best actress race, Ruth Negga was nominated for Loving in a category rounded out by Emma Stone (La La Land), Natalie Portman (Jackie), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) and Isabelle Huppert (Elle).
Though there remains a glaring lack of Hispanic or Asian nominees, the shift was felt immediately.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Andrea Mandell