The 2017 Oscars will be less white — hopefully.
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences spawned the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag in 2015, after they failed to nominate a single actor of color for major categories, including Best Actor/Actress and Best Supporting Actor/Actress. Then, it happened again in 2016.
However, for the first time in a long time, the Academy might actually acknowledge the landmark year it's been for diversity in film. Meaning we may be able to tweet #OscarsNotSoWhite this time.
Mashable captured this shift in their Oscars Map, which lists several movies that will definitely be in the Oscars conversation — and hopefully, end the #OscarsSoWhite spell.
A slate of powerful films are contending for Oscars — and many of them are led by actors of color.
"The Birth of a Nation," "Collateral Beauty," "The Queen of Katwe," "Moonlight," "Loving," "Fences," and "Hell or High Water" all have swirling Oscars buzz. Plus, there's a wave of new voters casting ballots for these films.
After #OscarsSoWhite, the Academy introduced some new rules to make their ranks more inclusive. For instance, members can only vote for 10 years before having to seek renewals. Also, they introduced three new governors and ushered in a wave of new members to change the types of films that are recognized.
It's about time.
The Oscars have been in a diversity slump since 2006.
As Mashable pointed out, 2006 featured an impressive roster of nominees of color: Jennifer Hudson, Will Smith, Penelope Cruz, Djimon Hounsou, Eddie Murphy, and Forest Whitaker were all nominated. "Crash," an ensemble drama that dealt directly with racial tensions, won the Best Picture Oscar in 2006 as well.
While there have been a few outliers, like Lupita Nyong'o winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "12 Years A Slave" and Octavia Spencer winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "The Help," the Academy Awards have been pretty damn white over the past 10 years.
In fact, the last Oscars were so white that the all-white writing staff for "Straight Outta Compton" were nominated — but the directors and actors were shut out.
April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite, isn't so optimistic about 2017 though.
"We have been seeing incremental progress from the Academy (of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences) and entertainment as a whole since the hashtag highlighted the issues of diversity and inclusion," she told The Los Angeles Daily News. "But these are just incremental steps in the right direction."
#OscarsSoWhite isn't canceled, as Mashable boldly proclaimed, but finally, deserving films might get their just due — as they should.