After the past few years of Oscars ceremonies being attacked with the claim #OscarsSoWhite, this year has been a major improvement in terms of the diversity of winners and nominees.
Black Panther, which had several nominations, got wins for Production Design and Wardrobe, both of which were headed by African American women. The film incorporated traditional African design into a contemporary world and won praise for showing children with African descent a new, fresh view of their culture that media has overlooked.
Roma, directed by Alfonso Cuaron, brought some representation from Mexico. Yalitza Aparicio was nominated for Best Actress and faced much discrimination because she is Mixtec in a film from Mexico. Cuaron was a big winner tonight taking home awards for cinematography, directing, and foreign film.
Green Book took home the biggest award of the night, Best Picture, surprisingly beating Roma and Bohemian Rhapsody. Mahershala Ali also took home the award for Best Supporting Actor, his second win for the category after Moonlight.
Asian Americans got in one win with animated short film ‘Bao’ from Disney, which celebrates the Asian American family and food culture.
Though this year has made some strides in diversity, there is still some work to be done. For example, no women were nominated in the director or cinematography categories, as they have historically been excluded. Many companies are starting diversity initiatives to increase the number of women, people of color, and people of underrepresented sexual orientations and gender identities both in front of and behind the camera. Every year marks a small bit of progress, so the future is looking bright for a diverse film industry.