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Oscars unveils most diverse nominee list in its 93-year history

Katie Archer
·Contributor
·2-min read

Watch: Oscar nominations 2021

The Oscars has unveiled the most diverse nominee shortlist in its 93-year history.

Of the 20 acting nominees, nine are non-white, including three of the five stars in both the best actor and best supporting actor categories – a far cry from last year's Academy Awards, where there was only one non-white nominee of the 20 shortlisted.

This year sees Riz Ahmed (for Sound Of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Steven Yeun (Minari) all nominated for best actor, along with Sir Anthony Hopkins (The Father) and Gary Oldman (Mank).

Read more: Halle Berry 'heartbroken' to be last Black woman to win best actress

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 21: Riz Ahmed is seen at the
Riz Ahmed is nominated for best actor. (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

In the supporting actor category, nominees are Daniel Kaluuya (Judas & The Black Messiah), Leslie Odom Jr (One Night In Miami…) and Lakeith Stanfield (Judas & The Black Messiah), plus Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial Of The Chicago 7) and Paul Raci (Sound Of Metal).

Oscars non-white acting nominations. (PA Graphics)
Oscars non-white acting nominations. (PA Graphics)

However, there is still work to do in the supporting actress category, which includes just one non-white nominee: Yuh-Jung Youn for Minari.

She goes up against Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father) and Amanda Seyfried (Mank).

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 03: Viola Davis joins L’Oréal Paris to celebrate the launch of Age Perfect Cosmetics on March 03, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for L'Oréal Paris )
Viola Davis is up for best actress. (Rachel Murray/Getty Images for L'Oréal Paris )

The best actress category has two non-white nominees: Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Andra Day (The United States Vs Billie Holiday), with Vanessa Kirby (Pieces Of A Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland) and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) making up the rest of the category.

Previously, the 2017 ceremony had the most diverse shortlist with seven non-white actors of 20, following the all-white shortlists of 2015 and 2016 that led to the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag.

Read more: Jared Leto says his Oscar is missing

The first non-white performer to win an acting Oscar was Hattie McDaniel, who won best supporting actress in 1940 for Gone With The Wind.

Along with McDaniel, there have been non-white winners in the acting categories a total of 19 times: five for best actor, once for best actress, five for best supporting actor and eight for best supporting actress.

Watch: Riz Ahmed proud to become first Muslim nominated for Best Actor Oscar