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The Oscar's 2022 nominations once again show continuous lack of diversity


Yesterday, 8 February, was arguably one of the most important dates in the calendar for film fans: the Oscar nominations. Highlighting the best of the best in the film industry, The Power of the Dog (Netflix) lead with 12 nominations, closely followed by Dune (Warner Bros) with 10 and Belfast (Focus Features) with seven. However, whilst a celebration of talent, we can not neglect the fact that there is insufficient diversity amongst the nominees.


If you take a look at the Best Director category alone, this lack of diversity is extremely evident. Out of the five nominees, only one woman, Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog, was nominated. This is Campion's second Best Director nomination of her career, which is a record in itself as she is the first woman to ever achieve this, noting particularly that only two women have ever won this award. This is a stark comparison when you look at Steven Spielberg, who was also nominated in this category this year for West Side Story, earning his ninth nomination.


The lack of representation does not correlate to a lack of talent. While not nearly enough, there were many female-directed movies eligible for nomination, in particular Maggie Gyllenhaal's directorial debut in The Lost Daughter, which picked up three other award nominations. Sian Heder's CODA was also nominated for three other awards, but noticeably missing was Best Director. Another female director and film completely snubbed by The Academy is Rebecca Hall's Passing, which received no nominations despite being well received and named one of the top ten films of 2021 by the African American Film Critics Association.


The absence of representation is not just prevalent amongst Best Director Nominees, but also within other major categories such as Best Actress. Four out of the five Best Actress nominees are white women: Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Olivia Coleman for The Lost Daughter, Nicole Kidman for Being the Ricardo's and Kristen Stewart for Spencer. Penélope Cruz for Parallel Mothers is the only nominee in this category that isn't white.


There was an array of performances given by women of colour this year equally worthy of a nomination, such as Jennifer Hudson starring as Aretha Franklin in Respect. Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson, who gave critically acclaimed performances in Passing were also notably missing nominations.


The issue of diversity has been engrained in award shows like the Oscars for years. Most recently, NBC did not air the 2022 Golden Globes for the first time ever after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was found to have a lack of diversity and ethical failings within its membership.


This could soon be the fate of the Oscars with more and more people choosing to boycott or give up on watching the awards due to these issues. Many took to Twitter to share their frustrations:



Another user criticised The Academy for being performative in their representation of Black women.


The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was trending online after the nominations and the tweet below further highlights that this discrimination has been present for decades.



Let us know your thoughts on the nominees and who you think missed out on a nomination in the comments below!