The seven minority actors nominated tie the record set in 2007. But some culture watchers say the behind-the-scenes nominations may be even more important for Hollywood – both for long-term diversity and increasing the variety of stories told.
Published Jan. 24, 2017
LOS ANGELES—After two consecutive seasons, the whiteout plaguing the Academy Awards has ended.
Tuesday dawned in Hollywood with diversity at center stage, as this year’s Oscar nominations recognized a range of stories and faces that for two years had been conspicuously absent. People of color punctuated every category from Best Picture to cinematography, reflecting what some see as a response to the online outcry of #OscarsSoWhite.
“It’s a watershed in a lot of ways, not just in front of the camera but also behind the camera,” says Russell Williams II, a professor of film and media arts at American University in Washington who has won two Academy Awards for his work in sound production.
“There’s no two ways about it,” he says, “the Academy was very sensitive to, I think, the criticism that the two years of #OscarsSoWhite generated.”