The running theme of the 88th Academy Awards was #OscarsSoWhite, but black viewership of the ABC telecast held up compared with last year.
Data from Nielsen showed that 3.22 million African Americans tuned in, just 2% under last year’s total.
African American viewers made up 9.4% of the total audience of 34.4 million who watched the Oscars. That figure is up from last year, when it was 8.8% of the total.
The total audience figure was 6% lower than last year and the lowest since 2008.
The overall white audience was 27.14 million viewers, down 9% from last year, a decline that may have been a reaction to the diversity controversy. A number of older people who identified as white e-mailed the Los Angeles Times to say they did not tune in to the Oscars because they grew weary of coverage of the diversity issue.
The Oscars did see an 8% increase among Latino viewers. An average of 4 million viewers in that group watched, making up 11.7% of the audience. It’s the third straight year that figure has increased.