Following two consecutive years of failing to adequately acknowledge diversity in film, it seems that The Academy has finally gotten the memo–or at least begun to do so.
Tuesday morning [January 23, 2017] a total of six African-American films were thrust into the running for this year’s Oscars along with their dominating Black casts.
The usual suspects presented themselves with “Fences” (four), “Hidden Figures”(three), and “Moonlight” (eight) landing in the midst of nominees this year.
Making history were actresses Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Naomie Harris all landing in the same category for Best Supporting Actress for their respective roles in the aforementioned films with Davis becoming the first Black actress ever to earn three Oscar nominations.
Other nominees include filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s “13th” for Best Documentary and Indian actor Dev Patel for his supporting role in film “Lion”
While the 89th Academy awards have certainly delivered in a stark contrast from last year when the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite experienced a revival following a serious lack of diversity amongst nominees, there are many who still wish to see diversity go beyond color, including the creator of the hashtag April Reign.
“One year does not make up for over 80 years of underrepresentation of all genders, sexual orientations, races, abilities and First Nation status,” the former attorney told The Times. “#OscarsSoWhite is about the inclusion of all marginalized communities, both in front of and behind the camera, throughout the entertainment industry.”
While Reign’s statement holds some truth, it still stands that this year’s efforts to represent more of Hollywood and this nation are well-noted.
We can only hope that it doesn’t end here.