Hollywood has rightfully earned a reputation for being boys' club: specifically, a white boys' club. The white-washed list of Academy Award nominees prompted the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite in both 2015 and 2016 and, although the nominee list was more diverse in 2017, the lack of diversity continues to be problematic. Asian and Latino nominees were glaringly absent and it felt bitterly symbolic that Moonlight was forced to share the spotlight with La La Land after that infamous "Best Picture" flub.
And as if we needed further confirmation, UCLA's 2017 Hollywood Diversity Report showed that "racial minorities and women remain severely underrepresented in film and television hiring."
Check out the nominees:
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us; Carrie Coon, The Leftovers & Fargo; Claire Foy, The Crown; Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies; Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette And Joan; Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale; Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette And Joan
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY: Pamela Adlon, Better Things; Aziz Ansari, Master of None; Kristen Bell, The Good Place; Donald Glover, Atlanta; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep; Issa Rae, Insecure; Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
There's nary a white man on either list, and both are filled to the brim with talented actors and actresses. It's also noteworthy that many of the year's biggest critical and commercial successes, such as Big Little Lies, Insecure, The Handmaid's Tale, Master of None, This Is Us, Veep, and The Crown, tell the stories of women and people of color. So it clearly wasn't hard to come up with a list of 14 deserving nominees who aren't white men.
Furthermore, many of these shows depict women in power and/or the very real struggles faced by women and people of color.
Of course, none of this means that the world is suddenly a better place for marginalized groups. And as the nominee list reflects, non-black people of color, the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities are barely represented: Mainly because TV shows simply don't tell their stories and that needs to change.
Still, it's a victory to see women and people of color take center stage. This is a major step forward and hopefully by next year, the list will look even more diverse.