Oscars 2020: How diverse are the Oscars?

  • Published
Greta Gerwig at the 2018 OscarsImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Greta Gerwig was nominated for best director in 2018

The South Korean film Parasite has made Oscar history by becoming the the first non-English language film to win best picture. Bong Joon-Ho also won best director for the film but its overall success - it won four awards - hasn't silenced the critics who have highlighted the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar categories.

There were no women nominated in the best director category - Greta Gerwig missed out as director of Little Women, meaning that her nomination for Lady Bird in 2018 was the only one for a female director in the last 10 years.

There have only been five women nominated as best director in the awards' 92-year history with only one winner: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2010.

In the directing category, there were no women nominated in either the Golden Globes or the Baftas this year.

Florence Pugh, who was nominated in the best supporting actress category for her role as Amy in Little Women, told BBC News: "It is sad... but the very fact that last year we had more female writers and directors than ever and we're still coming up against it is quite an obvious problem. But we're talking about it, and hopefully it's changing."

It is worth noting that Greta Gerwig was nominated for best adapted screenplay for Little Women and the film was nominated for best picture.

"What makes it so shocking is that I've seen more inspiring films made by women in 2019 that in any other year that I've been a critic," Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, chief film critic for Metro, told Reality Check.

"I find that dispiriting and I hope it's not disheartening for women film-makers."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The main acting categories in 2020 were won by (left to right) Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern (not pictured)

What about actors?

In the acting categories, Cynthia Erivo was the only non-white nominee. She was up for best actress in a leading role for playing the title role in Harriet, a film about a slave who became an abolitionist.

The category was won by Renee Zellweger for her portrayal of Judy Garland.

In 2019, three of the four acting categories were won by non-white actors: Rami Malek, Mahershala Ali and Regina King. Olivia Colman won the fourth for her performance in The Favourite.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
(left to right) Rami Malek, Olivia Coleman, Regina King and Mahershala Ali, who all won acting Oscars in 2019

We have looked through all the nominations in the last 10 years, and of the 200 nominees in the four acting categories, there have been 26 non-white actors recognised, with seven of them winning their categories.

The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag began being used in 2015 and 2016, when there were no non-white nominees in the acting categories for two years in a row.

The Academy said it had taken steps to have a more diverse membership in 2016, but many users tweeted the hashtag again following the announcement of the 2020 nominees.

The US film critic Kristy Puchko used it when suggesting that Lupita Nyong'o should have been nominated this year for her performance in Us, although she also said the Academy tended not to like horror films.

Ms Nyong'o won an Oscar in 2014 for 12 Years a Slave.

This piece was originally published on 13 January, at the time of the Oscar nominations. It has been updated to reflect the Oscar results.

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.