Oscar nominations more diverse after #OscarsSoWhite row

Seven of 20 actors nominated for an Academy Award are not white, compared to previous years which had no representation.

The nominations for the 89th Academy Awards offered more diversity than previous years, with several non-white actors and directors up for an Oscar.

Seven of the 20 actors announced as nominees on Tuesday are not white.

Actors Denzel Washingon, Ruth Negga, Mahershala Ali, Dev Patel, Viola Davis, Naomie Harris and Octavia Spencer were announced as nominees, along with directors Barry Jenkins, Raoul Peck, Herbert Peck and Ava DuVernay.

Best picture nominations included: Fences, a film set in the 1950s about a black American family starring Washington and Davis; Hidden Figures, a biographical drama about African-American mathematicians at NASA, and Moonlight, a coming-of-age story set in Miami.


DuVernay’s non-fiction film exploring the mass incarceration of black Americans, 13th, was up for best documentary feature.

Aisha Harris, culture writer and editor at Slate, told Al Jazeera: “All the people of colour who were nominated this year deserved the nominations that they got.”

Previous years drew sharp criticism over a severe lack of representation. All 20 nominees in the main acting categories at last year’s Oscars were white for the second year running, prompting calls to boycott the glitzy event and a social media backlash under the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.

Naomie Harris (L) and Barry Jenkins (R) are nominated for best supporting actress and best director respectively [Stephanie Keith/Reuters]
Naomie Harris (L) and Barry Jenkins (R) are nominated for best supporting actress and best director respectively [Stephanie Keith/Reuters]

In response, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises Hollywood’s annual Oscar awards ceremony, pledged last year to double its membership of women and minorities by 2020.

April Reign, who launched the #OscarsSoWhite tag, wrote on Twitter that while “things are changing because our voices are stronger together … One year of films reflecting the Black experience doesn’t make up for 80 yrs of underrepresentation of ALL groups”.

Elsewhere in Tuesday’s nominations, La La Land, a musical, landed a record-tying 14 Academy Award nominations, matching it with Titanic and All About Eve for most nominations ever.

Oscar nominations: La La land scoops 14 nominations

Here are the main nominations:

Best picture:



Hacksaw Ridge 

Hell or High Water 

Hidden Figures 

La La Land 


Manchester by the Sea 


Best director:

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival 

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge 

Damien Chazelle, La La Land 

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea 

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best actor:

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea 

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge 

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic 

Denzel Washington, Fences

Best actress:

Isabelle Huppert, Elle 

Ruth Negga, Loving 

Natalie Portman, Jackie 

Emma Stone, La La Land 

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best supporting actor:

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight 

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water 

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea 

Dev Patel, Lion 

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Best supporting actress:

Viola Davis, Fences 

Naomie Harris, Moonlight 

Nicole Kidman, Lion 

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures 

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Best documentary feature:

Fire at Sea 

I Am Not Your Negro 

Life, Animated 

OJ: Made in America 


Best foreign language film:

Land of Mine (Denmark)

A Man Called Ove (Sweden)

The Salesman (Iran)

Tanna (Australia)

Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Source: Al Jazeera