Once again, the newly announced Academy Award nominations have people tweeting #OscarsSoWhite.
On Monday morning, the 2020 contenders were officially revealed, among them Joaquin Phoenix, Tom Hanks and Scarlett Johansson. However, amid the excitement the Oscar nominations naturally spark, criticism swiftly sprung up as many realized the list featured a recurring issue: a severe lack of diversity.
Of all the nominees in the four major acting categories this year, Cynthia Erivo, who portrays Harriet Tubman in the Harriet biopic, was the only person of color to be recognized with a nomination, narrowly avoiding an entirely white slate of acting nominees.
The moment harkens back to 2015, when April Reign famously used the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to mock the all-white nominees that had just been announced at the time as many others took their outrage to social media. The following year, the same problem dominated the headlines.
By 2017, however, many more people of color were recognized with Oscar nominations while Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis were two winners of the big night. And, in the two years that followed, the Oscars continued to feature a slightly more diverse list of nominees and winners.
Now, it seems that shift has come to a screeching halt this year given the lack of diversity yet again, particularly following a year of standout performances from stars like The Farewell's Awkwafina, Us' Lupita Nyong'o, Hustlers' Jennifer Lopez and Dolemite Is My Name's Eddie Murphy, all of whom were snubbed when it came time for nominations.
Making matters worse, the Best Director category, notorious for its repeated lack of female nominees, once again shut all women, including Little Women director Greta Gerwig. As Issa Rae, who co-announced the nominations on Monday morning, perfectly put it, "Congratulations to those men."