A brand new infographic highlights just how white and male the Academy Awards really are.
According to research by book publisher Lee & Low, since the Academy Awards’ inception in 1927, the academy has been dominated by whites males. Lee & Low found that, of the 6,000 industry professionals that compose the academy, 94 percent white. Lee & Low also found that only two percent of the academy is black and less than two percent are Latino. Asians and Native Americans round out the academy’s six percent minority membership.
When it comes to Oscar winners, only one woman of color as ever been awarded the Best Actress award – Halle Berry in 2002 for her role in Monster’s Ball. Just seven percent of the Best Actor award winners have been minorities members, including three black men: Sidney Poitier (1963,) Denzel Washington (2001,) Jamie Foxx (2004) and Forest Whitaker (2006.)
This year marks the first time the academy has elected a black president. Cheryl Boone Isaacs is also the third woman to lead the body in its 86 years. In an award season that has highlighted black films, many are hopeful that this year’s Oscars – and those to come- will continue a trend toward diversity.
The show’s program also reflects a push toward more diversity. With 10 black presenters announced – including Jamie Foxx, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael B. Jordan, Gabourey Sidibe and Sidney Poitier – the presenter list is also one of the most diverse in the Oscars’ history.
Finally, actors Chiwetel Ejiofor (Best Actor Nominee for 12 years a Slave,) Lupita Nyong’o (Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave,) Barkhad Abdi (Best Supporting Actor for Captain Phillips) and director Steve McQueen (Best Director for 12 Years a Slave) are all nominated this year. If McQueen wins in his category, it will be the first time ever that a black director has taken home the award.
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