The Diversity Gap in the Academy Awards in Infographic Form

The Diversity Gap in the Academy Awards in Infographic Form

We’ve all seen the statistics about the diversity gap at the Oscars before, but they are still shocking and worth repeating. Amazingly, since the Academy Awards began 85 years ago, only one woman of color has ever won the Academy Award for Best Actress (Halle Berry) and only one woman has ever won the Academy Award for Best Director (Kathryn Bigelow). Men of color haven’t fared much better with only six of them having ever won the Academy Award for Best Actor and none winning the Academy Award for Best Director. A recent post over at Lee & Low Books addressed the issue with an infographic (below) as well as interviews with independent filmmakers about the state of diversity in film.

“The numbers do not surprise me because very few Academy Award level
films with non-white leads are being greenlit,” independent filmmaker
Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Love and Basketball,” “The Secret Life of Bees”) told Lee & Low Books. “Until this changes, the abysmal numbers will not
change. The box office drives which films get greenlit. The hope is that
with this year’s success of a variety of films with African American
leads, Hollywood will be more open to taking chances.” See the original post here.

Meanwhile, delves further into Oscar’s “woman problem” and concludes that “Films with meaty roles for women are, by and large, considered lower caliber by the Academy.” Could Oscar break that curse this year with “Gravity” featuring Sandra Bullock?

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What about Jews, Chinese, Polish, or any other nationalities? Why are we only addressing one specific group. Isn’t that racist in itself?


except if you break it down to before and after civil rights stuff(aka /this/ century) it works out to slightly AHEAD of population values

truth hurts

Perhaps you all are overlooking the obvious. There just weren’t any Oscar worthy performances by non white actors. Out of all the movies made in a year only 20 are nominated. Also who many black male and female leads are there in the movies. Forcing the Oscars to nominate and black actor, actress or director makes the Oscars irrevelant.


The Academy has no integrity!! They vote for their friends, the problem is that people of color who are talented and bringing forth great work aren’t their friends.

Gene Marshall

Frankly, as a black man whose father and mother made certain their son was educated and who is now living the American Dream, I am sick and tired of hearing about the plight of single parent and uneducated blacks complaining about their self-imposed problems.


"Men of color haven't fared much better with only six of them having ever won the Academy Award for Best Actor and none winning the Academy Award for Best Director." Didn't Ang Lee win this award twice?

Mia Renaud

These stats are dismal and this chart is a very powerful representation of the exclusion faced by minorities in the film industry over the years. We should also note the minority groups that are not even acknowledged by this chart such as disabled artists/filmmakers.


This is actually kind-of race-baiting. Not even talking about ethnicity here. No mention of comparison in population percentages. What about, let's say, Jewish percentage? Or discuss the traditional family roles people have had throughout the history of film. All is changing and doesn't accurately represent present day sociology.

Gregory DeGraffenreid

Can anyone tell me how would I get in touch with equity investors
or producers for financing a movie?


Sorry the info graphic is very misleading.In my experience writers and producers do not call the shots as to what gets made. Producers ALWAYS go to studios, money people and foreign markets for financing. Film financing is based based on projected returns in the marketplace. A male, white actor in his 30s who has a marquis name will always pull more money in with foreign markets. Most indy Producers will look to foreign presales first to minimize the equity needed on a film. As a producer, It sucks to go to your foreign sales agent with a female protagonist, Latino lead project and be told that many markets will not pay presales for the names being considered..These are the biggest names in the industry right now. I'm assuming that studios have the same type of view.


I agree with the sentiment that roles should be more representative of race in the modern world, but the Oscars is just a symptom of current depictions in cinema… a bit obfuscating to point to them as an arbiter of such…

Again, that being said, would love more women in the directors' camp and more roles for non-whites. (and golly i feel dirty for writing the term "non whites" but what else am I to do?)


I think you've got to compare this with the amount of people of other races working in the industry. Also, you've got to compare it with the number of women inside the industry. There's probably more men as directors and writers, and that's because of an historical issue, which doesn't makes it right, but that doesn't makes it the academy's fault.

Yes, 36% of the US population is not white, but for the Academy to reflect this you need first a major change in the industry.


@ Joe H.: You're a white male, right?

The Diversity List

Roles for women of color are being written- check TheBitchPackDotCom , "The Diversity List"

Joe H.

So what?? Give me names and then we can decide whether or not someone else deserved to win. But these statistics mean absolutely nothing. The day academy voters see race is the day the academy loses whatever integrity it has left.


Some data on the % of nominees would've been interesting.


This is incredible. The Best Actress category is just devastating.

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