Academy facing backlash over lack of diversity in Oscar nominations

Academy facing backlash over lack of diversity in Oscar nominations

Sir Sam Mendes, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Florence Pugh are among the British Oscar nominees but there is mounting anger over a lack of diversity among the contenders.

The Academy narrowly avoided a repeat of 2016’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy, with Londoner Cynthia Erivo the only actor of colour to earn a nomination.

In total, 19 of the 20 acting nominees across both the leading and supporting categories for men and women were white.

High-profile actors of colour to miss out include Hustlers star Jennifer Lopez, Us actress Lupita Nyong’o and The Farewell’s Awkwafina.

Jamie Foxx had been tipped for a best actor nod for his role in legal drama Just Mercy while Dolemite Is My Name star Eddie Murphy also missed out.

On social media, #OscarsSoWhite began trending as the Academy – which attempted to diversify its membership following the all-white acting nominees in 2016 – was criticised for the latest controversy.

And female filmmakers were once again omitted from the best director category, with Little Women’s Greta Gerwig the most high-profile snub.

Greta Gerwig was a high-profile omission as female filmmakers were again shut out of the best director category at the Oscars (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Greta Gerwig was a high-profile omission as female filmmakers were again shut out of the best director category at the Oscars (Isabel Infantes/PA)

During the live nominations announcement broadcast, presenter Issa Rae made a pointed comment about the lack of female directors, saying: “Congratulations to those men.”

Little Women star Pugh, who was nominated for best supporting actress, told Entertainment Weekly it was “incredibly upsetting” to see no women filmmakers nominated, adding: “It’s a shame that it’s still a conversation.”

Overall Joker, Todd Phillips’s dark exploration of a troubled loner’s descent into madness, leads the way in nominations with 11, ahead of 1917, The Irishman and Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood which have 10 each.

All four of those films are nominated for best picture, alongside Ford V Ferrari, released in the UK as Le Mans ’66, Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Marriage Story and Parasite.

The nominees for best director are Sir Sam for his war epic 1917, Martin Scorsese for The Irishman, Phillips for Joker, Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood and Bong Joon-Ho for Parasite.

Best actor nominees are Antonio Banderas for Pain And Glory, Leonardo DiCaprio for Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood, Adam Driver for Marriage Story, Phoenix in Joker and Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes.

Taron Egerton missed out on a nod for his work on Rocketman, as did The Irishman’s Robert De Niro and Ford V Ferrari’s Christian Bale.

Alongside Erivo and the Irish star of Little Women, Saoirse Ronan, in the best actress category are Scarlett Johansson for Marriage Story, Charlize Theron for Bombshell and Renee Zellweger for Judy.

In the supporting categories, Sir Anthony is recognised for his work on The Two Popes alongside Tom Hanks for A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood, Al Pacino and his The Irishman co-star Joe Pesci and Brad Pitt for Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.

The actresses nominated alongside Pugh are Johansson for Jojo Rabbit, Kathy Bates for Richard Jewell, Laura Dern for Marriage Story and Margot Robbie for Bombshell.

1917’s 10 nods include best picture, best director, best original screenplay, best achievement in visual effects and best achievement in sound editing.

South Korea’s Parasite picked up six nominations, including for best international feature film of the year, achievement in production design and best original screenplay.

Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin earned a nomination for best original song for (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again from Rocketman and are up against tracks from Toy Story 4, Breakthrough and Frozen 2.

Erivo earned another nomination in this category alongside Joshuah Brian Campbell for their song Stand Up from Harriet. A win for the 33-year-old would make her the youngest person ever to complete the EGOT collection of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award wins.

Netflix’s recent awards show dominance continued and the streaming giant led the way in nominations with 24, powered by The Irishman and Marriage Story.

The 92nd Academy Awards will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on February 9.

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