When the Academy Award nominations were announced back in January, many were surprised that Selma helmer Ava Duvernay had been excluded from the Best Director category. Her nomination would have marked the first ever for a black woman, and marked a progressive shift for the famously stodgy Academy voters. As we approach the award ceremony on February 22nd, one man has put together a clever depiction of just how poorly black filmmakers, as well as hispanics and asians, have fared with voters over the years.
“Diversity Among Winners at the Oscars” uses the visualization device of tiny marbles coming together to form an Oscar statuette to represent the racial disparity of victors over the years in the top categories. The golden marbles represent white actors, writers, and directors, while the white marbles are meant to be, alternately, black, Asian, or hispanic. Through a series of rather lonely white marbles, the two-minute video reveals some sad statistics such as the fact that Ben Kingsley–born Krishna Pandit Bhanji–is one of two Asians (Kingley’s mother was British, his father was of Indian descent) who’ve ever won Oscars for Best Actor.
Taking a look at this year’s nomination, those marbles don’t appear to be getting many more neighbors this year. As creator Bard Edlund points out, however, there’s a decent chance that Alejandro González Iñárritu will become the second hispanic Best Director, following last year’s win by Alfonso Cuarón, in which case Edlund will update the video.JB