Diversity in the Academy Awards

Academy Award winners for Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director from 2008-2020

The Academy Awards has long been criticized for its lack of diversity. Protests have ramped up over the past several years. Notably, the widely criticized 88th Oscar Awards in 2016, marked the second straight year with no nominations for black actors. In response, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences promised to change its overall structure in order to be more inclusive (Cieply, 2016).

Women are also underrepresented and under-appreciated by the Academy Awards. In the history of the Oscars, only one woman has won the award for Best Director: Katherine Bigelow in 2009. This inequity is not solely found in the Academy Awards, but in the entertainment industry in general. A study done by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that despite historic highs in the number of women directors, producers, and writers, women are still severely underrepresented (RealityCheckTeam, 2020).