When black performers were excluded from all acting categories at the Academy Awards for a second year in a row in 2016, the shutout sparked a second year of an impassioned social media movement: #OscarsSoWhite.
You could say the campaign was a success. A week later, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pledged to phase out senior members and enlist new, diverse voters who would, if all recruiting goals were met, double minority membership by 2020. This morning, for the first time, three black actors were nominated in the same category, of best supporting actress: Viola Davis for “Fences,” Naomie Harris for “Moonlight” and Octavia Spencer for “Hidden Figures.” Denzel Washington also was nominated in the lead acting category for his performance in “Fences,” and Mahershala Ali in the supporting actor category for “Moonlight.”
But Hollywood’s diversity problem isn’t solved. By many measures, it’s still as bad as ever. And the studios’ biggest minority deficit by far involves the very people living and working outside their walls in virtually every direction — Latinos.