At a time when Hollywood has come under criticism for a lack of diversity in filmmaking, all 20 actors and actresses nominated for Oscars on Thursday morning were white.
This is the first time since 2011 and only the second time since 1998 that none of the nominees for lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor or supporting actress is a minority.
David Oyelowo, a British actor of Nigerian background, was widely regarded as a strong contender for a lead actor nomination for his performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s historical drama “Selma,” but he was ultimately snubbed.
Last year Lupita Nyong’o, who was born in Mexico City to Kenyan parents, won the Oscar for supporting actress for her role in “12 Years a Slave.” Two other black actors, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Barkhad Abdi, also earned acting nominations in 2014.
The most recent male actor of color to win an Oscar was Forest Whitaker in 2007, for “The Last King of Scotland.”
In 2012, a Los Angeles Times study found that academy voters were nearly 94% white. In recent years, the academy has invited noticeably more diverse classes of new members to its ranks, but those inductees haven’t changed the face of the academy in a material way because they make up such a small percentage of the entire constituency, which numbers more than 6,000.
On Thursday, academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs told reporters, “We are very active about increasing diversity throughout the academy and recognition of talent, and it will increase. We’re very much dedicated to that.”
Times staff writer Nardine Saad contributed to this report.
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