Little evidence of diversity as white actors dominate categories
Only five of the 20 acting nominations are for people from minority backgrounds.
White actors dominate the main categories in this year’s Oscars, despite efforts by the event’s organisers to encourage more diversity among the nominations.
The only black actors to receive a nod are Mahershala Ali, for supporting actor in Green Book, and Regina King, who is nominated in the supporting actress category for If Beale Street Could Talk.
Two stars of the Mexican film Roma are nominated: Yalitza Aparicio for best actress and Marina de Tavira for best supporting actress.
Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek also gets a nod in the best actor category for Bohemian Rhapsody.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whose members vote for the nominations, has recently made changes to its membership to improve gender and ethnic representation.
But while this year’s list is an improvement on 2015 and 2016, when every single person nominated in an acting category was white, it is down slightly on 2017 when a total of seven acting nominees came from minority backgrounds.
There has been only one non-white winner of best actress in the history of the Oscars: Halle Berry for Monster’s Ball in 2002.
Elsewhere, Spike Lee becomes only the sixth black filmmaker in history to be nominated for best director.
The first was in 1992, 63 years since the Academy Awards began, when John Singleton received a nomination for Boyz N The Hood.
It was then another 18 years before a second black director was similarly recognised, when Lee Daniels was nominated in 2010 for Precious.
Recent years have seen Steve McQueen, Barry Jenkins and Jordan Peele pick up nominations, for 12 Years A Slave (2014), Moonlight (2017) and Get Out (2018) respectively.
Spike Lee has been nominated this year for BlacKkKlansman – the first time the veteran filmmaker has been recognised in the best director category.