The Academy Awards failed to nominate a single black actor in any of the four acting categories for two years. However, the nominees for the 2017 Oscars are noticeably diverse. A black actor is nominated in every acting category for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress for the very first time in Academy history.
The nominees for the 2017 Oscars are Denzel Washington (Fences, Actor), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Supporting Actor), Ruth Negga (Loving, Actress), Viola Davis (Fences, Supporting Actress), Naomie Harris (Moonlight, Supporting Actress) and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures, Actress).
Davis, Harris, and Spencer being nominated in the Supporting Actress category is the first time multiple black nominees have been nominated in that category since Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey in 1985 for The Color Purple.
Ali told ET that he hopes recognition for Moonlight, Hidden Figures, and Fences was “a start to something that becomes really normal.”
“I would love to see people of color continue to get opportunities and have opportunities to do projects that are action blockbusters as well as being a part of projects that are art house and indie or projects that in some way find themselves around and in the conversation every awards season. We want to exist in all platforms, and we want to see diversity and see people being included on every level. I hope that this is a real beginning for that,” Ali said.
Moonlight received eight nominations in multiple categories, Fences earned four, and Hidden Figures are up for three. All three films are nominated for Best Picture.
Congratulations to all the nominees for making history with their phenomenal talent.