Did #OscarsSoWhite work? Looking beyond Hollywood’s diversity drought

With Moonlight, Hidden Figures and Fences in the running, Hollywood appears to have responded positively to last years protests. But is it just lip service? And could measures to promote diversity go too far?

At a stroke, the 89th Academy Awards appear to have laid the ghost of last years #OscarsSoWhitefurore. In 2016, no actors of colour were nominated, for the second year running. This year, seven of the 20 acting nominees are from ethnic minority backgrounds, topping the previous record of five.

Thats not all. Of the nine films nominated for best picture, one is an Asian story and three tell stories of black people with mostly black casts. One of these, Hidden Figures, manages to be both black and feminist. Another, Moonlight, is both black and gay. The creator of the latter, Barry Jenkins, is the fourth-ever black nominee for best director.

Its great, says the Academys first African-American president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs. Jenkins agrees. Its lovely to see the work thats nominated reflect the world at large, he told the Guardian.

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