HOW WE DID ITOur MethodologyCollecting and analyzing data across 95 years at the Academy Awards®
Overall, there were 13,253 Academy Award® nominations from 1929 to 2023. The 19 categories included in the analysis were: Actor in a Supporting Role, Actress in a Supporting Role, Actor in a Leading Role, Actress in a Leading Role, Directing, Cinematography, Adapted Screenplay, Original Screenplay, Editing, Picture, Animated Feature, Production Design, Costume Design, Documentary Feature, Original Score, Original Song, Visual Effects, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Sound. Some category names have changed over time and are presented in a manner consistent with how they are currently awarded.The process for identifying the gender and race/ethnicity of Academy Award® nominees began by identifying every person nominated for an award across these 19 categories. We used the Academy Awards® database to find all nominees from the first Academy Awards® (1929) to the most recent awards (2023). We excluded Governor’s Awards and the Scientific and Technical Awards, as well as special achievement awards. When companies were nominated we did not include those in the analysis, but we did identify every member of a group nominated and included those people individually.Once all names were collected, we used information available online to obtain the gender and race/ethnicity of each nominee. This involved using online databases (e.g., Luminate, IMDbPro, U.S. Census records, etc), where possible. Other online sources (e.g., interviews, social media posts) were also consulted for information on an individual's identity. Where possible, confirmation on race/ethnicity was sought from individuals connected to the person (e.g., agents, managers, colleagues, etc.).When no information could be found, a photograph of the individual was obtained, and senior research team members rendered a judgment on the artist’s race/ethnicity and/or gender. In the past we have used this process to determine gender and race/ethnicity of series regulars. In a previous report, there was a .90 correlation between independent judgments made by our research team and documented information on racial/ethnic identity across 2,175 series regulars appearing in episodic content from the 2014-15 season (305 broadcast, cable, and streaming series). As such, we have a high degree of confidence in our ability to ascertain race/ethnicity. There were 60 (<.6%) out of 13,253 individuals across the analysis for whom we could not find any information on race/ethnicity, including a photo. These individuals were inferred to be white based on their geography at birth (e.g., Germany, France, Italy, etc.), last name (e.g., Simoni, Uvarov), and lack of discussion about race in interviews when it would be relevant to do so. Even with this approach, it was impossible to categorize the race/ethnicity of 1 of the remaining 60 individuals (i.e., Banksy). In this case, the value was entered as “can’t tell.”Throughout the analysis, we examine gender for individuals at the time of their nomination, and note when individuals are male, female, or gender nonbinary. The race/ethnicity of individuals was categorized as white or underrepresented. Underrepresented refers to individuals who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific islander, Middle Eastern/North African, and Multiracial/Multiethnic. Where possible, we provide information on specific racial/ethnic groups. In the acting categories, we offer this insight on nominations and wins for specific racial/ethnic groups. For that analysis, all multiracial/multiethnic individuals were included with each racial/ethnic group with which the individual identified.FootnotesThe following are notes regarding aspects of the analysis or categorization and appear within each award designation.*Note on Best Directing: This category includes nominations across the following categories from 1929 to the present: Best Achievement in Directing; Best Director; Best Director, Comedy Picture; Best Director, Dramatic Picture.*Note on Best Cinematography: This category includes nominations across the following categories from 1929 to the present: Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Cinematography; Best Cinematography, Black-and-White; Best Cinematography, Color. Henri Persin was initially nominated in this category but has since been removed without explanation. Including this nomination in the analysis would add one further white male nominee to the data.*Writing Categories- A variety of different writing categories received nominations over the 95-year Academy Awards® timeframe. Yet, in 2023, there are 2 major writing categories: Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay. Over time, the Academy has not embraced a mutually exclusive approach to categorizing nominations for writing. Rather than scrutinizing every nominated film and its historical origins, we sifted award titles into two large buckets. Original Screenplay was comprised of any of the following monikers: Best Original Screenplay; Best Writing, Achievement; Best Writing, Best Screenplay - Original; Best Writing, Motion Picture Story; Best Writing, Original Screenplay; Best Writing, Original Story; Best Writing, Screenplay; Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen; Best Writing, Story and Screenplay; Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen; Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced; Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Material Not Previously Published or Produced.Adapted Screenplay includes: Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Writing, Adaptation; Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay; Best Writing, Best Screenplay - Adapted; Best Writing, Screenplay Adapted From Other Material; Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium; Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.By doing this, we are fully aware that we are collapsing more than one category for writing during the early years of the Academy Awards.® And, it might be the case that some of the films within these categories are actually adapted material rather than original screenplays/stories. Inconsistencies in film nominations in years where Original or Adapted material was not clearly demarcated by the Academy (e.g., “Writing,” “Screenplay,” etc.) would have required sifting films based on individual nominations rather than the full categories in a given year. The limitation with our approach is that it looks like Adapted Screenplay was not a consistent category at the Academy Awards® prior to 1957 when it was more clearly named. While this will not affect the overall percentage of women or people of color across the 95-year history, it will affect their percentages within these categories.*Note on Best Film Editing: This category includes nominations for Best Achievement in Film Editing and Best Film Editing.*Note on Best Picture: This category includes nominations for Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Picture; Best Picture, Production; and Best Picture, Unique and Artistic Production. Until 1951, there were no individual nominees for the award. Years before 1951 and companies who received the nomination were excluded from analysis.*Note on Best Animated Feature: This category includes nominations for Best Animated Feature; Best Animated Feature Film; and Best Animated Feature Film of the Year. The first awards in this category were presented in 2002.*Note on Best Production Design: This category includes nominations for Best Art Direction; Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Black-and-White; Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Color; Best Art Direction-Set Decoration; Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White; Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White or Color; Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color; Best Art Direction, Black-and-White; Best Art Direction, Color; Best Achievement in Art Direction; and Best Achievement in Production Design. Until 2012 this category was Best Art Direction. Nominees from prior to 2012 in the art direction category are included here.*Note on Best Costume Design: This category includes nominations for Best Costume Design; Best Costume Design, Black-and-White; Best Costume Design, Black-and-White or Color; and Best Costume Design, Color. The first Academy Award® for Best Costume Design was awarded in 1949.*Note on Best Documentary: This category includes Best Documentary; Best Documentary Feature; Best Documentary, Feature; and Best Documentary, Features. The award was first presented in 1943 to both companies/organizations and individuals; only the individuals are included in the analysis. From 1944-1946, there were no individual nominees for this award, and in 1947 the award was not presented. These years have been excluded from analysis.*Note on Best Score: This category includes: Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score); Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score; Best Music, Original Dramatic Score; Best Music, Original Music Score; Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score; Best Music, Original Score; Best Music, Original Score for a Motion Picture (not a Musical); Best Music, Original Song Score; Best Music, Score - Substantially Original; Best Music, Substantially Original Score; Best Music, Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score; Best Music, Score; Best Music, Score of a Musical Picture (Original or Adaptation); Best Music, Scoring; Best Music, Scoring Adaptation and Original Song Score; Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture; Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture; Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture; Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment; Best Music, Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation. This award was first presented in 1935, and was awarded to heads of departments rather than composers until 1939.*Note on Best Song: This category includes Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song); Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song; Best Music, Original Song. It was first awarded in 1935.*Note on Best Visual Effects: This category includes Best Achievement in Visual Effects; Best Effects, Engineering Effects; Best Effects, Special Effects; Best Effects, Special Visual Effects; Best Effects, Visual Effects; Best Visual Effects; Best Effects (Engineering Effects); Best Effects (Photographic Effects); Best Effects (Special Visual Effects); Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing; Best Effects (Sound Effects). Special Achievement Awards for Visual Effects given between 1973 and 1977 and in 1979.*Note on Best Makeup & Hairstyling: This category was awarded beginning in 1981 and includes Best Makeup; Best Achievement in Makeup; and Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling.*Note on Best Sound: This category includes Best Sound; Best Achievement in Sound Editing; Best Sound Editing; Best Effects, Sound Effects; Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing; Best Sound Mixing; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing; and Best Sound, Recording. The category was first awarded in 1931, though in 1932 and 1933 it was awarded only to companies, and thus those years are not included in the analysis. Awardees in this category include heads of departments who were nominated and won for work on specific films.Additional details regarding methodology can be provided upon request firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative Team
This project was led by Samuel Wheeler (Data Management Coordinator) and Brooke Kong (UX Designer). Authorship should be cited as: Wheeler, S., Kong, B., Pieper, K., & Smith, S.L. (2023). Inclusion at the Oscars®.Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. Los Angeles, CA.Annenberg Inclusion Initiative Founder: Dr. Stacy L. SmithProgram Director: Dr. Katherine PieperProgram Manager: Ariana CaseGraphics By: Sarah NeffDevelopment Team: Samuel Wheeler, Anvitha Chegu Ashokkumar, Sai Prasad Palivela, Sindhura B RDesign Team: Brooke Kong and Isabelle LimResearch Supervisors: Jenisty Colon and Sophia CastroResearch Assistants: A.J. Domingo, Andrea Chen, Anja Tempel, Braxton Albers,Cierra Morgan, Daisy Ma, Ehna Choi, Ella Hodgetts, Elva Liu, Fatema Bhaiji, Hrushikesh Lavate, Jaden Sibrian, Jessica Jia, Katelyn Do, Monserrat Rodriguez Ortiz, Sanjana Senthil, Tung Le, Tyrese Shaffer, Yutong Jiang, Zianna RazonAnnenberg Inclusion Initiative Staff Team: Al-Baab Khan, Ashley Kolaya, Bryan Davis, Karla Hernandez, Katherine Neff, Matthew A. Davis, Sarah Neff, Terrell Shaffer, Zoe Moore, Zoily MercadoIn addition to our incredible team, we are grateful to the following individuals and organizations for their assistance and support. At the Adobe Foundation, Amy White, Julia Tian, and Brycie Jones and their colleagues Karen Do, Lexie Riegelhaupt, and Elise O’Neil have backstopped this project from its inception. We are thankful to the librarians at the Margaret Herrick Library for their insights, as well as to Dr. Peter Labuza (Researcher, IATSE Local 600), and to other individuals across the country and internationally who provided information on nominees. We also relied on assistance to ensure the optimal function of our site. Thank you to Marissa Gonzalez for providing additional insight on site accessibility. The entire team at the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative made this project possible, and we are grateful to our many students for their work!