Regardless of how important you think they are, every year fans and filmmakers alike anticipate the Oscar nominations voted upon and released by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For the past two years, zero acting nominations have been granted by the Academy to people of color, spurring an outcry of criticism under the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.
The Academy has responded by vowing to double its number of "women and diverse members" by 2020. However, looking at the numbers, that change will not be all that remarkable. Far more drastic change would need to occur for the Academy's voting body to substantially shift its demographics.
#OscarsSoWhite is often looked at as a black representation issue. However, when the data is analyzed, we find that Hispanics, Asians, and people of Native American and other heritages are far more underrepresented. The issue is not limited to acting positions, nor is it limited just to the Oscars, but stretches deep into every recess of the industry—and it's arguably worse in other film and theatrical awards.
[Photos: Kevin Winter/Getty (Cheryl Boone Isaacs); Michael Ochs Archives/Getty (Miyoshi Umeki); Silver Screen Collection/Getty (Merle Oberon); Albert L. Ortega/Getty (America Ferrera); Kevork Djansezian/Getty (Viola Davis); Daniel Zuchnik/Getty (Tony Shalhoub Left & Right); Rob Kim/Getty (Tony Shalhoub Center)]