Thursday 27 June 2019

Diversity at the Oscars: the key numbers

Only four of the 90 winners for best actor have not been white.

Forest Whitaker with the award for best actor at the Oscars in 2007. (PA Images)
Forest Whitaker with the award for best actor at the Oscars in 2007. (PA Images)

By Ian Jones, Press Association

The Oscars does not have an impressive history of diversity among the people it has honoured for acting and directing.

Just four of the 90 people to win best actor have not been white: Sidney Poitier (1964), Denzel Washington (2002), Jamie Foxx (2005) and Forest Whitaker (2007).

There has been only one non-white winner for best actress: Halle Berry in 2002.

Among this year’s contenders for best actor is one black nominee – Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out – while there is an all-white line-up for best actress.


In the best supporting actress category, two of this year’s five nominees are black: Mary J Blige (nominated for Mudbound) and Octavia Spencer (The Shape Of Water).

Of the 81 people to win best supporting actress since the category was established, seven have not been white.

Only four of the 81 winners of best supporting actor have been non-white – a number that is not going to change this year, as there is an all-white list of nominees.


Since 1927, 449 people have been nominated for a best director Oscar.

Just five of them have been women: Lina Wertmuller (for Seven Beauties in 1977); Jane Campion (The Piano, 1994); Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, 2004); Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, 2010); and Greta Gerwig, who has been nominated this year for Lady Bird.

So far, Bigelow is the only woman to have won the award.


There have been only 11 non-white nominees for best director since 1927.

The first was Hiroshi Teshigahara in 1966 for Woman In The Dunes, followed 20 years later by Akira Kurosawa for Ran.

John Singleton was the first black nominee in 1992 for Boyz N The Hood.


The other eight nominees have all been this century, including three for Ang Lee: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2001; Brokeback Mountain in 2006; and Life Of Pi in 2013.

Lee is so far the only non-white person to win best director, taking the award in 2006 and 2013.

Jordan Peele has been nominated this year for Get Out, and if he wins he will be the first black director to take the honour.


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