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Here's why people are angry about the lack of women and minorities in today's Oscar nominations

Women and minorities were largely shut out of this year’s Oscar nominations.

UNLESS YOU HAVE just emerged from hibernation, chances are you have heard about today’s Oscar nominations.

Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood and The Imitation Game all figured heavily in today’s nominations. But that’s not what has people talking on social media.

Instead, fans have been quick to highlight the virtual absence of women and people of colour from most of the major categories.

So, what women were nominated?

Still Alice Premiere - New York Source: AP/Press Association Images

Excluding Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, not a single woman was nominated for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Original Screenplay or Best Adapted Screenplay.

Of course other women were nominated in different categories, but not all that many outside of the technical/craft categories.

Here are a few exceptions from the non-technical categories:

  • Best Picture – Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardiner (Selma); Nora Grossman (The Imitation Game); Helen Estabrook (Whiplash); Cathleen Sutherland (Boyhood); Lisa Bruce (The Theory of Everything)
  • Best Documentary – Laura Poitras (Citizenfour)
  • Best Editing – Sandra Adair (Boyhood)
  • Best Animated Feature Film – Bonnie Arnold (How To Train Your Dragon 2)
  • Best Original Song – Diane Warren (Beyond The Lights); Danielle Brisebois (Begin Again)

Not a lot, is it?

Buzzfeed poked fun at the dearth of female nominees rather hilariously here.

buzzfeed Source: Buzzfeed

But who did people expect to get nominated?

Selma Portrait Session Source: AP/Press Association Images

Ava DuVernay, for one.

The director of Selma, one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, was nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes and was widely viewed as a leading Oscar contender.

Had she been nominated today, she would have been the first African-American woman to be nominated for Best Director, as well as just the fifth woman in history.

Similarly, Gillian Flynn was widely viewed as a possible nominee for Best Adapated Screenplay for adapting her novel Gone Girl.

Sadly, that was not to be.

Back to Selma: why is everyone talking about it?

selma

Selma is a film that documents the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery. It has received overwhelmingly positive reviews (see: 99% on critical aggregator Rotten Tomatoes) and was viewed as a possible Oscar frontrunner.

But that didn’t quite go to plan.

It received a grand total of two nominations – Best Picture and Best Original Song. People aren’t happy.

Its absence from the acting categories has also meant that this is the whitest Oscars since 1998 with no people of colour nominated in the four main acting categories.

That statistic has helped highlight the film industry’s lack of diversity.

It has also highlighted the lack of diversity in Oscar voter demographics. See this for a slightly depressing stat:

Yikes. A bad year for women and minorities, so.

Don’t forget Lego!

All the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards, in one handy list >

‘It’s like a shiny jewel on our CVs’: Dublin-based graphic designer’s Oscar joy >

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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