COMMUNITIES OF COLORat the Oscars®Facts and insights on specific racial/ethnic groups at the Academy Awards.®
Gender Icons
In addition to examining all underrepresented individuals nominated for an Academy Award®, it was also important to understand the prevalence of nominees and winners from specific racial/ethnic groups. By disaggregating the data, we provide a deeper exploration of how different communities are represented at the Oscars®. While in other sections we provided information on individuals who were multiracial/multiethnic, in this analysis we included those people in every group with which they identified.Consistent with how we have evaluated race/ethnicity for other categories on this site, the information we obtained on racial/ethnic identification from online sources was used to guide the classification of people into the following groups. Some choices might be controversial, as they may not align with how an individual person identifies but draw on information about a person’s ancestry. In other words, the family history or origins of some nominees may lie in a group with which they do not identify. Until we hear from individuals directly, we have included people in all of the groups that their ancestry or family history might suggest are appropriate. If anything, this increases the percentage or number of nominees per group and actual estimates may be lower.
Black/African American Nominees & Winners
Only 2% (1.9%) percent of all nominees and 2% of all winners from 1929 to 2023 at the Academy Awards® were Black. This represents 253 nominations and 57 winners in 95 years.Nominees
  • There have been 35 years with no Black nominees at the Academy Awards® across the 19 categories we analyzed. The most recent year was 2001. There were 20 years with only one Black nominee. Most recently, that year was 2011.
  • 2021 was the year with the highest percentage of Black nominees. The 24 nominations for Black artists that year were 9% of all nominations.
  • Four categories accounted for 36% or 92 of the 253 Black nominees across 95 years. These are the acting categories (Best Actor/Actress in a Leading/Supporting Role).
  • Of the 14 nominations for Black women in the Best Actress in a Leading Role category, only one woman has been nominated more than once in this category: Viola Davis (2012, 2021).
  • Of the 29 nominations for Black women in the category of Best Actress in a Supporting Role, two women have received more than one nomination: Octavia Spencer (2012, 2017, 2018) and Viola Davis (2009, 2017). Each has won the award once.
  • Denzel Washington has been nominated 7 times for Best Actor in a Leading Role (1993, 2000, 2002, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2022), with one win. Only three other actors have been nominated more than once: Morgan Freeman (1990, 1995, 2010), Will Smith (2002, 2007, 2022), and Sidney Poitier (1959, 1964).
  • Twenty percent of Black nominees–50 in total–appeared in one category: Best Original Song.
  • There has been only 1 Black nominee for Best Animated Feature, Peter Ramsey (2019).
  • One Black woman (Joi McMillon, 2017) and one Black man (Hugh A. Robertson, 1970) were the only Black nominees for Best Editing.
  • Of the 15 Black nominees for Best Picture, two were women (Oprah Winfrey, Kimberly Stewart). None of the nominees have won the award.
  • Winners
  • There have been 68 years where no Academy Award® winners were Black. The most recent year was 2020.
  • A Black nominee has never won the Oscar® for Best Directing, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Visual Effects, or Best Picture. In 2023, the only category where this might change is Best Visual Effects. There are no Black nominees in the other categories.
  • Thirty-nine percent of all 57 Black winners appeared in the four acting categories.
  • Black winners in the Best Song category accounted for 21% or 12 of all Black Oscar® winners.
  • Ruth E. Carter is the only Black nominee to win in the category of Best Costume Design (2019).
  • The only Black winners in the Best Makeup & Hairstyling categories were Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson. They won in 2021.
  • Three Black men have won an Oscar® for Best Original Score: Prince (1985), Herbie Hancock (1987), and Jon Batiste (2021).
  • The six Black winners in the Best Adapted Screenplay category won for 4 different movies. Each won their award in or after 2010. All were men: Geoffrey Fletcher (2010); John Ridley (2014); Barry Jenkins (2017); Tarell Alvin McCraney (2017); Kevin Willmott (2019); Spike Lee (2019).
  • There was a 62-year gap between the two wins for a Black nominee in Best Art Direction (Malcolm Brown, 1957; Hannah Beachler, 2019).
  • In both 2019 and 2021, seven Black nominees won an Academy Award®. This was the highest number of Black winners across any other year. The two years combined account for a quarter of all Black winners.
  • Of the 26 years with a Black winner, almost half (11) saw only one Black nominee receive the Oscar®.
  • Hispanic/Latino Nominees & Winners
    Across all 95 years of nominees, 2% (1.7%) or 231 have been Hispanic/Latino. Similarly, 2% or 57 winners have been Hispanic/Latino.Nominees
  • There were 32 years with no Hispanic/Latino nominees at the Academy Awards®. The most recent year was 2002.
  • The most nominations for Hispanic/Latinos occurred in 2007. That year, 17 nominations went to Hispanic/Latinos– 7% of all nominations. Of those 17 nominations, 7 were associated with just one movie (Pan’s Labyrinth).
  • Nearly two-thirds of all nominations for Hispanic/Latinos have occurred since 2003. That was the first year Alfonso Cuarón was nominated.
  • Forty-one nominations, or 18% of the total for Hispanic/Latinos have been in the four acting categories (Best Actor/Actress in a Leading/Supporting Role).
  • The 22 nominees for Best Sound are accounted for by 9 people. Frank A. Montaño has been nominated 9 times in this category but has never won. Only 1 Hispanic/Latino woman has been nominated for Best Sound (Michelle Couttolenc). She also won the award.
  • The largest percentage of Hispanic/Latino nominees appeared in the Best Art Direction category. Thirteen percent of all nominees or 29 Hispanic/Latino artists were nominated for this award.
  • Winners
  • There have been 61 years without any Hispanic/Latino Oscar® winners, including 2010, 2011, and 2012, the most recent years when this occurred.
  • Seventeen percent (10) of all Hispanic/Latino winners were three men: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Alfonso Cuarón, and Guillermo del Toro. All are international filmmakers. To put this into perspective, only 14 Latinas have won an Oscar® in 95 years. Two of those women were Hilary Swank, who may not even identify with this community according to popular press articles. If we remove Hilary Swank, the number is 12. This means no Latina has won an Oscar® for Best Actress in a Leading Role. This could change in 2023 if Ana de Armas wins in this category.
  • Of the 33 years with any Hispanic/Latino winners, there were 20 when only 1 Hispanic/Latino won an award. The last year this happened was 2020.
  • The categories with the largest share of Hispanic/Latino winners are: Best Art Direction (9 wins); Best Makeup & Hairstyling (6 wins); and Best Directing (5 wins; to the same three men).
  • Of the 4 winners for Best Original Screenplay, 3 were associated with the same film (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)): Alejandro G. Iñárritu; Nicolás Giacobone; Armando Bo. Pedro Almodóvar was the only other Hispanic/Latino winner in this category. Every win for an Hispanic/Latino writer in this category has come in the 21st Century.
  • There are three categories where there has never been an Hispanic/Latino winner: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Documentary Film and Best Actress in a Leading Role (if Hilary Swank is not included). No Hispanic/Latino nominees appear in two of these categories in 2023.
  • Asian Nominees & Winners
    Two percent of all nominees and 2% (1.7%) of winners across 95 years at the Academy Awards® were Asian. This reflects 229 nominations and 47 wins.Nominees
  • There have been 35 years without any Asian nominees at the Academy Awards®. The most recent year when this occurred was 1999. Of the 60 years with an Asian nominee, there were 20 when only 1 Asian nominee appeared. This includes 2010.
  • 2023 had the highest number and percentage of Asian nominees– 20 nominations, or 9% of all Asian nominees were named in 2023. Eleven, or more than half of those nominees, were associated with one film (Everything, Everywhere, All at Once).
  • There were 5 years with double-digit nominations for Asian artists: 2001, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2023. Of the 70 nominations to Asian artists in these years (31% of all nominations), 30 or 43% were accounted for by 3 films: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once (11 nominations), Parasite (8 nominations), and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (11 nominations– every nomination that year).
  • The largest share of nominations for Asians were in the Best Documentary Feature and Best Cinematography categories. Each category was responsible for 10% of all Asian nominations. Asians received 23 nominations in Best Documentary Feature and 22 in Best Cinematography. Ten of the nominations in Best Cinematography went to James Wong Howe and occurred between 1939 and 1976.
  • Asian actors received only 25 nominations across all four acting categories (Best Actor/Actress in a Leading/Supporting Role). This reflects only 11% of all nominations for Asian artists across 95 years.
  • Only 3 Asian women were nominated for Best Picture, out of 17 total nominations for Asians in this category. All 3 were nominated in 2020 or 2021.
  • Winners
  • There have been 68 years without any Asian Oscar® winners. The most recent year this occurred was 2017.
  • Nearly one-quarter (23%) of all Asian winners were named in two years: 2020 and 2021.
  • There has never been an Asian winner in the categories of Best Actress in a Leading Role or Best Adapted Screenplay. Both of these could change in 2023 if Kazuo Ishiguro (Best Adapted Screenplay) and Michelle Yeoh (Best Actress in a Leading Role) win.
  • The two Asian winners for best Original Screenplay won in 2020– both were responsible for Parasite (Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin-won).
  • There have been 5 Asian actors who have won in their categories across 95 years. Two won for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Yul Brynner, Ben Kingsley), 2 won for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Miyoshi Umeki, Youn Yuh-jung), and 1 won for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Haing S. Ngor).
  • Two categories were responsible for the largest share of Asian winners. The first was Best Documentary Film (6 winners or 13%) and the second was Best Song (5 winners or 11%).
  • Middle Eastern/North African and Indegenous Nominees & Winners
    Due to very small sample sizes, we present information on Middle Eastern/North African and Indigenous nominees in one section. Less than 1% (.4%) of all nominees and all winners were Middle Eastern/North African– 49 nominees and 7 winners. Less than one-half of one percent of all nominees (.14%), or 19 were Indigenous. There have been 3 winners from Indigenous communities across 95 years of Oscar® history. For this analysis, Indigenous people include those who identify as American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or with Indigenous populations of other countries. Like the other categories, we included individuals who indicated or we discovered had Indigenous heritage. These may be disputed by members of the community, but we chose to be inclusive rather than exclusive so actual estimates may be smaller.Nominees
  • There have been 63 years without any Middle Eastern/North African nominees, including as recently as 2017. There have been 82 years without an Indigenous nominee, including 2023.
  • Middle Eastern/North African nominees were missing from three categories: Best Art Direction, Best Makeup & Hairstyling, and Best Score.
  • Indigenous nominees were missing from the following 12 categories: Best Animated Film; Best Art Direction; Best Cinematography; Best Costume Design; Best Directing; Best Documentary Film; Best Editing; Best Makeup & Hairstyling; Best Original Screenplay; Best Score; Best Sound; and Best Visual Effects.
  • There were 19 Middle Eastern/North African and Indigenous nominees combined across all four acting categories.
  • The largest share of nominations for Middle Eastern/North African nominees was in the Best Documentary Film category. One-fourth (25%) of all nominations for Middle Eastern/North African artists occurred in this arena.
  • Winners
  • There have been 87 years when no Middle Eastern/North African nominees have won an Academy Award®. No Oscars® have been awarded to Indigenous people in 91 of the 95 years studied.
  • There have been 7 years with any Middle Eastern/North African winners. Only 1 Middle Eastern/North African nominee has won in each of those 7 years. The most recent year was 2019. That year, Rami Malek won for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
  • Only 3 years have seen Indigenous winners. The most recent year was 2020 when Taika Waititi won for Best Adapted Screenplay.
  • Middle Eastern/North African winners were absent from 14 of 19 categories evaluated. They were present in: Best Actor in a Leading Role; Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Documentary Film; Best Original Screenplay; and Best Picture.
  • Indigenous winners were missing from 17 of 19 categories, with the only wins in Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Song.

  • © 2023 Dr. Stacy L. Smith & the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. All Rights Reserved.

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