Despite Oscars Diversity Push and Gains for Women, Black Winners Stagnate

Another year of Oscar winners brings up the continued question of how well the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is doing when it comes to representation. This year marked the first time the Oscars’ new inclusion eligibility requirements were implemented and there were certainly strides, in terms of nominations, with Black and Native representation. But to look at the numbers for those who won on Sunday, the new requirements didn’t see any significance in terms of winners.

Out of the 14 nominations given to Black creatives, just 3 won — Da’Vine Joy Randolph for Best Supporting Actress in “The Holdovers,” Kris Bowers shared with Ben Proudfoot for Best Documentary Short Subject for “The Last Repair Shop” and Cord Jefferson took home Best Adapted Screenplay for “American Fiction.”

This comes out to 21% of the Black nominees taking home a win in their category. That is close to the same number as last year’s winners, 20%, despite the fact that 2022 only saw Black performers and creatives nominated in five categories, with just one win (for Ruth E. Carter’s costumes in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”). Randolph was the only actor of color to walk away with an Oscar.

Those of Asian descent nabbed 2 wins out of 7 nominations, a 29% success rate. This is a marked decrease from last year when members of the group won 47% of the categories they were nominated in (8 wins out of 17 nominations) — though much of that came from one movie, the Daniels’ “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” That said, 6 Japanese people won, including 2 for Animated Feature and 4 for Visual Effects. Among those was the first woman of color ever to win for VFX: Kiyoko Shibuya for her work on “Godzilla Minus One.”

The biggest strides came for women, who had 59 nominations and saw 11 wins (marking a 19% success rate for those nominees), including Best Picture which went to “Oppenheimer” producer Emma Thomas, alongside Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven. Billie Eilish, who won for Best Original Song for “What Was I Made For” from “Barbie,” became the youngest person ever to win two Oscars.

Unfortunately, the lack of progress for Native creatives remains alive and well. Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of “Killers of the Flower Moon” came away with no wins out of 9 nominations. It was particularly shocking to see Lily Gladstone, who was favored to win, fail to bring home the Oscar for Best Actress. As TheWrap reported back in January, Gladstone became the first Native American nominated for Best Actress and was the fourth indigenous person to be nominated in the Best Actress category.

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