RACE & ETHNICITYat the Oscars®Nominees and winners from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups across 95 years at the Academy Awards®
A donut chart consisting of four different colors represents the different percentages of Oscar® nominee race and ethnicities.
Introduction
This section provides insight on nominations and wins for people of color at the Academy Awards.® We focused on the major categories for feature-length films currently presented by the Academy, including those categories that have evolved into today’s awards. This means that categories which present awards for short-form content were excluded, as were historical categories that are no longer presented. You can read more about our full methodology here.In this section, we examine the overall prevalence of people from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups and then move to assess each category. In general, we compare white nominees to underrepresented nominees due to sample size per category. Where possible, we provide insight on the prevalence of individuals from specific racial/ethnic groups. Use the menu at the side to jump to categories of interest, or scroll through to learn more about underrepresented nominees at the Academy Awards.®
Race/Ethnicity Overall

Of the 13,252 nominees since 1929, 6% were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. The ratio of white to underrepresented nominees is 17 to 1. The first underrepresented nominee appeared in 1936 (Achmed Abdullah, Merle Oberon). Six percent of all winners were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. The first person of color to win an Academy Award® did so in 1940 (Hattie McDaniel).

Three donut charts displaying the percentage of gender of Academy Award® nominees since 1929. 6% of 13,282 nominees were underrepresented. 2% of nominees were women of color. 6% of Oscar® winners were underrepresented. Of all Academy Award® winners, 2% were women of color.
Three donut charts displaying the percentage of gender of Academy Award® nominees since 1929. 6% of 13,282 nominees were underrepresented. 2% of nominees were women of color. 6% of Oscar® winners were underrepresented. Of all Academy Award® winners, 2% were women of color.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role

A total of 435 nominees for Best Actor in a Supporting Role have been named since 1937. Ten percent or 43 of the nominees were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group. There were 56 years when no underrepresented men were nominated for this award. The first nomination for an underrepresented actor in this category was in 1948 (Thomas Gomez). The first win for an underrepresented actor occurred in 1953 (Anthony Quinn). A total of 12 underrepresented actors have won the Oscar® in this category: Anthony Quinn (1953, 1957), Louis Gossett Jr. (1983), Haing S. Ngor (1985), Denzel Washington (1990), Cuba Gooding Jr. (1997), Benicio Del Toro (2001), Morgan Freeman (2005), Javier Bardem (2008), Mahershala Ali (2017, 2019), Daniel Kaluuya (2021).

 

Looking at underrepresented actors, 23 nominees have been Black/African American, with the first nomination for a Black actor in 1970 (Rupert Crosse) and the first of 7 wins for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1983 (Louis Gossett, Jr.). The first of 9 Hispanic/Latino nominees was announced in 1948 (Thomas Gomez) and the first Hispanic/Latino winner was in 1953 (Anthony Quinn). Nine Asian nominees have been named, beginning in 1958 (Sessue Hayakawa), with only one winner (Haing S. Ngor, 1985). One Middle Eastern/North African man has been nominated, the first in 1963 (Omar Sharif), though he did not win. Similarly, the first of three men with Indigenous heritage was nominated in 1971 (Chief Dan George) but none were awarded the Oscar.®

The graphic displaying the racial and gender representation of Best Actor in a Supporting Role nominees at the Oscars.® Of 435 nominees, only 45, or 10%, were men of color. Akim Tamiroff was the first underrepresented nominee (1937). Anthony Quinn was the first underrepresented winner (1953). There were 54 years when no underrepresented men were nominated.
The graphic displaying the racial and gender representation of Best Actor in a Supporting Role nominees at the Oscars.® Of 435 nominees, only 45, or 10%, were men of color. Akim Tamiroff was the first underrepresented nominee (1937). Anthony Quinn was the first underrepresented winner (1953). There were 54 years when no underrepresented men were nominated.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Of the 435 nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role since 1937, 12% or 51 were women of color. The first nomination and win for a woman of color occurred in 1940 (Hattie McDaniel). Overall, 14 women of color have won an Oscar® for Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Hattie McDaniel (1940), Miyoshi Umeki (1958), Rita Moreno (1962), Whoopi Goldberg (1991), Mercedes Ruehl (1992), Jennifer Hudson (2007), Penélope Cruz (2009), Mo'Nique (2010), Octavia Spencer (2012), Lupita Nyong'o (2014), Viola Davis (2017), Regina King (2019), Youn Yuh-jung (2021), Ariana DeBose (2022).

 

There have been 29 Black/African American women nominated for this award, beginning with Hattie McDaniel, who also earned the first of 9 wins. Twelve Hispanic/Latino women have been nominated, beginning in 1955 (Katy Jurado) with the first winner in 1962 (Rita Moreno). In 1958 (Miyoshi Umeki) the first Asian woman was nominated and won, while Asian women earned a total of 8 nominations and 2 wins. Three Middle Eastern/North African women were nominated. The first was nominated in 2000 (Catherine Keener). Jocelyne LaGarde was the only Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander woman nominated (1967). No Middle Eastern/North African or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander women have won the award.

The graphic displaying the racial and gender representation of Best Actress in a Supporting Role nominees at the Oscars.® Of 435 nominees, only 51, or 12%, were women of color. Hattie McDaniel was the first underrepresented nominee and winner in 1940. Ariana DeBose was the most recent underrepresented winner in 2022. There were 53 years when no underrepresented women were nominated.
The graphic displaying the racial and gender representation of Best Actress in a Supporting Role nominees at the Oscars.® Of 435 nominees, only 51, or 12%, were women of color. Hattie McDaniel was the first underrepresented nominee and winner in 1940. Ariana DeBose was the most recent underrepresented winner in 2022. There were 53 years when no underrepresented women were nominated.
Best Actor in a Leading Role

A total of 471 men have been nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Nine percent of the nominees were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. The first nomination and win for an underrepresented actor in this category was in 1951 (José Ferrer). There have been 59 years when no underrepresented actors have been nominated in this category. One of those years is 2023. A total of 10 underrepresented men have won the Oscar® for Best Actor in a Leading Role: José Ferrer (1951), Yul Brynner (1957), Sidney Poitier (1964), Ben Kingsley (1983), F. Murray Abraham (1985), Denzel Washington (2002), Jamie Foxx (2005), Forest Whitaker (2007), Rami Malek (2019), and Will Smith (2022).

 

There were 26 Black/African American men nominated for this award, with the first nomination in 1959 (Sidney Poitier) and the first win in 1964 (Sidney Poitier). The first of 11 Hispanic/Latino nominees and the first winner was named in 1951 (José Ferrer). Six Asian men were nominated for this award and the first won in 1957 (Yul Brynner). Three Middle Eastern/North African men were nominated, with the first nominee and winner in 1985 (F. Murray Abraham). Four actors with Indigenous heritage were nominated for an Oscar®. None won.

Human graph describing the breakdown of men of color nominated for Best Actor. 24 out of 44 are Black or African American actors. 9 out of 44 are Hispanic or Latino actors. 8 out of 44 are multiracial or multiethnic actors. 2 out of 44 are Asian actors. 1 out 44 is a Middle Eastern or North African actor. Next to the graphic is the following information; 10 men of color have won. There have been 60 years with no men of color nominated – including 2023.
Human graph describing the breakdown of men of color nominated for Best Actor. 24 out of 44 are Black or African American actors. 9 out of 44 are Hispanic or Latino actors. 8 out of 44 are multiracial or multiethnic actors. 2 out of 44 are Asian actors. 1 out 44 is a Middle Eastern or North African actor. Next to the graphic is the following information; 10 men of color have won. There have been 60 years with no men of color nominated – including 2023.
Best Actress in a Leading Role

Out of 474 nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role, 5% or 26 have gone to women of color. The first nomination was in 1936 (Merle Oberon). The first win was in 2000 and went to Hilary Swank. Although Hilary Swank has Hispanic/Latino heritage, she may not personally identify with this community. The only other woman of color to win this award was Halle Berry (2002). There have been 73 years when no women of color have been nominated in this category.

 

There have been 14 Black/African American women nominated for this award, beginning in 1955 (Dorothy Dandridge). Nine Hispanic/Latino women have been nominated, with the first nomination in 1999 (Fernanda Montenegro). Two Asian women (Merle Oberon, Michelle Yeoh) have been nominated. One Middle Eastern/North African woman has been nominated in this category (Salma Hayek, 2003). Three indigenous women have been nominated for this award (Merle Oberon, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Yalitza Aparicio).

"Human graph describing the breakdown of women of color nominated for Best Actress.12 out of 26 are Black or African American actresses. 7 out of 26 are multiracial or multiethnic actresses. 6 out of 26 are Hispanic or Latino actresses. 1 out of 26 is an Asian actress. Only 3 women of color have won the OSCAR in this category.
"Human graph describing the breakdown of women of color nominated for Best Actress.12 out of 26 are Black or African American actresses. 7 out of 26 are multiracial or multiethnic actresses. 6 out of 26 are Hispanic or Latino actresses. 1 out of 26 is an Asian actress. Only 3 women of color have won the OSCAR in this category.
Best Director

Twenty-seven of the 476 nominees for Best Director were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.* This is 6% of all nominees. There were 72 years when no underrepresented nominees were named for this category. The first underrepresented director was nominated in 1966 (Hiroshi Teshigahara). Nine underrepresented directors have won this award– 9% of all winners. The first winner was in 2006 (Ang Lee). Since 2012, there has been at least one underrepresented director nominated every year for the award.

The graphic displays a donut chart representing how only 6% of nominees for Best Director out of 476 were from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. To the right of the graphic is the following information; 27 underrepresented directors have been nominated in 95 years. Only 9 underrepresented directors have won an OSCAR for best director. Only 1 woman of color has been nominated and won.
The graphic displays a donut chart representing how only 6% of nominees for Best Director out of 476 were from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. To the right of the graphic is the following information; 27 underrepresented directors have been nominated in 95 years. Only 9 underrepresented directors have won an OSCAR for best director. Only 1 woman of color has been nominated and won.
Best Cinematography

There have been 45 underrepresented nominees out of 676 nominations for Best Cinematography.* This means that 7% of all nominees were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group. Only 7 underrepresented nominees have won the award–5% of all winners. Ten nominations were held by one person: James Wong Howe. In fact, he was nominated 8 times between 1939 and 1964, the only underrepresented nominee in that time frame. More recently, between 2011 and 2023, 6 separate underrepresented cinematographers were nominated. Matthew Libatique (2011, 2019), Claudio Miranda (2013), Bradford Young (2017), Rodrigo Prieto (2017, 2020), Alfonso Cuarón (2019), and Darius Khondji (2023) were all nominated in this decade.

A bar graph illustrates that 93% of nominees were white, and 7% of nominees were underrepresented. 7 underrepresented men have won in this category.
A bar graph illustrates that 93% of nominees were white, and 7% of nominees were underrepresented. 7 underrepresented men have won in this category.
Best Original Screenplay

Of the 1,052 nominees in the Best Original Screenplay category between 1929 and 2023,* 3% or 35 were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group. The first nomination for an underrepresented writer was in 1936 (Achmed Abdullah). A total of 8 underrepresented writers have won the award, which is 4% of all winners. The first underrepresented winner was named in 1992 (Callie Khouri).

The graphic illustrates that 4% of 1,052 nominees were underrepresented. 10 underrepresented writers have won an OSCAR for Best Original Screenplay.
The graphic illustrates that 4% of 1,052 nominees were underrepresented. 10 underrepresented writers have won an OSCAR for Best Original Screenplay.
Best Adapted Screenplay

Thirty-three nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.* This is 6% of all 539 nominees. There were 50 years when no underrepresented nominee appeared in this category. The first underrepresented nominee was named in 1970 (Jorge Semprún), with the first winner in 1974 (William Peter Blatty). More than half of the nominations for underrepresented screenwriters in this category have occurred since 2014, including 6 of the 8 winners.

Graphic displays that 6% of 539 nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay were from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. The text to the right of the graphic reads: there were 50 years without any underrepresented nominees in this category. 8 underrepresented writers have won an OSCAR for Best Adapted Screenplay. More than half of nominations for underrepresented screenwriters have occurred since 2014, including 6 of 8 winners.
Graphic displays that 6% of 539 nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay were from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. The text to the right of the graphic reads: there were 50 years without any underrepresented nominees in this category. 8 underrepresented writers have won an OSCAR for Best Adapted Screenplay. More than half of nominations for underrepresented screenwriters have occurred since 2014, including 6 of 8 winners.
Best Film Editing

There were 575 nominees for Best Film Editing. Of those, 3% were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.* Of the 16 underrepresented nominees, there have been 3 winners (Richard Chew, Alfonso Cuarón, and Tom Cross). The first underrepresented nominee in this category was in 1970 (Hugh A. Robertson), and there have been only 2 years when more than one person of color was nominated (2007, 2017). Two nominees for Best Film Editing were Black, 4 were Hispanic/Latino, 6 were Asian, and 4 were Multiracial/Multiethnic.

Graphic displays that 97% of nominees were white and 3% of nominees were underrepresented. Only 3 underrepresented editors have won in this category.
Graphic displays that 97% of nominees were white and 3% of nominees were underrepresented. Only 3 underrepresented editors have won in this category.
Best Picture

Of the 844 nominees for Best Picture, 6% were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group.* There was one underrepresented nominee for every 16 white nominees. Since 1951, there have been 48 years when no underrepresented nominees were included in this category. This is 66% of all years when the award was presented to people. 67% of underrepresented nominees were nominated only once, compared to 50% of white nominees. The first underrepresented nominee in this category appeared in 1970 (Ahmed Rachedi, Z). The first underrepresented winner was in 2012 (Thomas Langmann, The Artist). Six underrepresented individuals have won an Academy Award® for Best Picture. None of those winners have been Black/African American.

Three donut charts displaying the underrepresented status of Best Picture nominees at the Oscars® since 1929. 6% of 844 nominees were underrepresented. 8 underrepresented nominees have won the Oscar®. 67% of underrepresented nominees were nominated only once compared to 50% of white nominees. 66% of years had no nominees of color. In 48 years there were no underrepresented nominees.
Three donut charts displaying the underrepresented status of Best Picture nominees at the Oscars® since 1929. 6% of 844 nominees were underrepresented. 8 underrepresented nominees have won the Oscar®. 67% of underrepresented nominees were nominated only once compared to 50% of white nominees. 66% of years had no nominees of color. In 48 years there were no underrepresented nominees.
Best Animated Feature Film

Of the 194 nominees for Best Animated Feature, 17% were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group.* The first nomination and win for an underrepresented nominee was in 2003 (Hayao Miyazaki, Spirited Away). There have been 6 underrepresented winners in this category. Half (17) of the underrepresented nominees were Asian, 9 were Hispanic/Latino, 6 were multiracial/multiethnic, 1 was Middle Eastern/North African, and 1 was Black/African American.

A graphic containing two bold percentages displaying underrepresented status of Best Animated Feature Film nominees. 83% of nominees were white. 17% of nominees were underrepresented. There have been 6 underrepresented winners of Best Animated Feature.
A graphic containing two bold percentages displaying underrepresented status of Best Animated Feature Film nominees. 83% of nominees were white. 17% of nominees were underrepresented. There have been 6 underrepresented winners of Best Animated Feature.
Best Production Design

There have been 49 underrepresented nominees in the category of Best Production Design.* Out of 1,557 nominees, this means that 3% were underrepresented. There were 64 years without an underrepresented nominee in this category. The first underrepresented nominee occurred in 1937 (Eddie Imazu). Thirteen underrepresented nominees have won in this category. The first winner was named in 1950 (Emile Kuri).

A donut chart displays that 3% of 1,557 nominees for Best Production Design were from underrepresented groups. 52 were from an underrepresented racial/ ethnic group. 13 underrepresented nominees have won in this category. There were 63 years when this category had no underrepresented nominees.
A donut chart displays that 3% of 1,557 nominees for Best Production Design were from underrepresented groups. 52 were from an underrepresented racial/ ethnic group. 13 underrepresented nominees have won in this category. There were 63 years when this category had no underrepresented nominees.
Best Costume Design

Five percent of the 529 nominees for Best Costume Design were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group.* The ratio of white to underrepresented nominees is 19 to 1. The first nomination for a person of color was in 1953 (Antoni Clave). There have been only 6 underrepresented winners, with the first in 1955 (Mitsuzô Wada). Twelve of the 27 underrepresented nominees were Asian, 9 were Black/African American, 3 were Hispanic/Latino, and 3 were Middle Eastern/North African.

The graphic illustrates that 5% of 529 nominees were underrepresented. There have been 6 underrepresented winners in this category.
The graphic illustrates that 5% of 529 nominees were underrepresented. There have been 6 underrepresented winners in this category.
Best Documentary Feature

Of the 586 nominees for Best Documentary Feature, 12% were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group and 88% were white.* Since 1943, there have been 49 years when no underrepresented nominees have appeared in this category. The first underrepresented nominee was named in 1958 (Manuel Barbachano Ponce). The majority of underrepresented nominees– 91%– were only nominated once. In comparison, 80% of white nominees have only been nominated once in this category. There have been 11 people of color who have won an Oscar® for Best Documentary Feature. This is 9% of all winners. The first was in 1995 (Frida Lee Mock). Of the Best Documentary Feature winners, 4 were Asian, 1 was Black/African American, and 6 were multiracial/multiethnic.

The graphic displays three donut charts. The first shows that 13% of 585 nominees were people of color. The first underrepresented person, Manuel Barbachano Ponce, was nominated in 1958. The second donut chart shows that 9% of winners were people of color. 11 people of color have won. The last donut chart shows that  92% of underrepresented nominees were nominated once. 80% of white nominees were nominated only once.
The graphic displays three donut charts. The first shows that 13% of 585 nominees were people of color. The first underrepresented person, Manuel Barbachano Ponce, was nominated in 1958. The second donut chart shows that 9% of winners were people of color. 11 people of color have won. The last donut chart shows that  92% of underrepresented nominees were nominated once. 80% of white nominees were nominated only once.
Best Original Score

Only 4% or 35 of the 974 nominees for Best Original Score were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group.* This is a ratio of 27 white nominees to every underrepresented nominee. Duke Ellington was the first underrepresented nominee in 1962. Nine underrepresented individuals have won the award, beginning in 1985 (Prince). Two individuals (John Williams, Alfred Newman) each have more individual nominations than all of the underrepresented nominees combined. Fifteen nominees were Black/African American, 11 were Hispanic/Latino and 9 were Asian.

A large number 35 emphasizes that 35 people of color have been nominated for Best Original Score. This is 4% of nominees. Two men, John Williams and Alfred Newman, each have more individual nominations than all underrepresented nominees combined. 9 people of color have won in this category.
A large number 35 emphasizes that 35 people of color have been nominated for Best Original Score. This is 4% of nominees. Two men, John Williams and Alfred Newman, each have more individual nominations than all underrepresented nominees combined. 9 people of color have won in this category.
Best Original Song

Of the 929 nominees for Best Original Song, 8% were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group.* The first of the 76 nominees appeared in 1943 (Ernesto Lecuona). There have been 19 winners who were underrepresented, which is 11% of all winners. The first underrepresented winner was in 1972 (Isaac Hayes). Forty of the nominees in this category were Black/African American, 10 were Asian, 8 were Hispanic/Latino, 2 were Middle Eastern/North African, and 15 were multiracial/multiethnic.

A bar graph illustrates that 11% of all winners were underrepresented. 8% of nominees were underrepresented. 19 people of color have won in this category. 4 were women.
A bar graph illustrates that 11% of all winners were underrepresented. 8% of nominees were underrepresented. 19 people of color have won in this category. 4 were women.
Best Visual Effects

There were 818 nominees for Best Visual Effects, and 3% were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group.* Of the 24 underrepresented nominees in this category, the first was nominated in 1978 (Gregory Jein). There have been 4 underrepresented winners of the Best Visual Effects Award: Doug Chiang (1993), Eric Barba (2009), Adam Valdez (2017), and David Lee (2021). Nine of the nominees were Hispanic/Latino, 8 were Asian, 4 were Black/African American, 2 were Middle Eastern/North African, and 1 was multiracial/multiethnic.

The graphic illustrates that 3% of 749 nominees were underrepresented. 4 people of color have won the OSCAR for Best Visual Effects.
The graphic illustrates that 3% of 749 nominees were underrepresented. 4 people of color have won the OSCAR for Best Visual Effects.
Best Makeup & Hairstyling

Out of 286 nominees for Best Makeup & Hairstyling, 9% were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group.* Just under half (12) of the 25 nominees were women of color. The first nominee in this category was named in 1990 (Ken Diaz). Eleven percent of the winners were underrepresented. 1994 was the first year an underrepresented nominee won the award (Yolanda Toussieng). In 22 of the 41 years the award has been presented, there were no underrepresented nominees. Notably, in 2007 half the nominees were underrepresented. Fourteen of the 25 nominees were Hispanic/Latino, 6 were Asian, and 5 were Black/African American.

A bar graph illustrates that 11% of all winners were underrepresented. 9% of nominees were underrepresented. 10 people of color have won in this category. 6 were women.
A bar graph illustrates that 11% of all winners were underrepresented. 9% of nominees were underrepresented. 10 people of color have won in this category. 6 were women.
Best Sound

There were 51 underrepresented nominees in the category of Best Sound, representing 4% of the total 1,402 nominees.* This is a ratio of 27 white nominees to every underrepresented nominee. There have been 62 years when no underrepresented nominee appeared in this category, including 2023. Willie D. Burton was the first underrepresented nominee in 1979 and the first underrepresented winner in 1989. A total of 9 people of color have won the award for Best Sound.

Graphic displays that 96% of nominees were white and 4% of nominees were underrepresented. Ten underrepresented nominees have won in this category.
Graphic displays that 96% of nominees were white and 4% of nominees were underrepresented. Ten underrepresented nominees have won in this category.
Conclusion
The first nominee of color at the Academy Awards® was named in 1932, and across all 95 years, underrepresented individuals have received 6% of all nominations. Although social and cultural movements since the 1930s have undoubtedly affected the entertainment industry, it is clear that they have not ensured that nominees and winners reflect the current population (~40%) and are inclusive of the performances and work of individuals from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.There are a few places where underrepresented nominees were more likely to be recognized. The first is Best Animated Feature, a category launched in the 21st Century, where 17% of nominees have been people of color. Another is Best Documentary Feature, where underrepresented individuals filled 12% of nominations. Finally, the Best Actor/Actress in a Supporting Role categories outpaced other distinctions, still only naming underrepresented individuals at 10% or 12% of nominations overall (respectively). The chart below provides the percentage and number of nominations for underrepresented individuals by category and year, and illuminates the ongoing disparities in nominations for people of color over time. In the last two decades, there has not been one year when the percentage of underrepresented nominees reached proportional representation.Over time, the percentage of nominees of color has improved. In particular, 15% of nominees in 2023 were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group – in comparison to 1929 when there were none. The high point was reached in 2021, when 24% of nominees were people of color. There has also been an increase in wins. While the overall figure was 6%, in 2022, 13% of winners were underrepresented. Again, the stand out year was 2021, when more than one-third of winners were people of color (37%). These gains are set against a backdrop of purported organizational change. The Academy has taken steps to diversify its membership in the hopes that doing so would result in greater inclusion among its nominations and winners. Those efforts may have had some success, but a larger shift is still needed if what Hollywood might consider the pinnacle of achievement is to be clearly open to all.
Race Data