Oscars Diversity 2024: People of Color in Every Acting Category, Jodie Foster and Colman Domingo Make History and More

The Oscars nominations might not have given everything the people wanted, but diversity in the acting categories had several high points to celebrate.

Lily Gladstone made history as the first Native American nominated for best actress, for her towering role as Mollie Burkhart in the crime thriller “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

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Colman Domingo became the first Afro Latino nominated in best actor for his powerhouse performance in the civil rights drama “Rustin.” He’s joined by fellow Black nominee Jeffrey Wright for “American Fiction.” This is only the second time in Oscar history where more than one Black actor, who wasn’t either Will Smith or Denzel Washington, was nominated for the leading prize. The first was the 2004 lineup with Don Cheadle (“Hotel Rwanda”) and eventual winner Jamie Foxx (“Ray”).

Wright’s co-star Sterling K. Brown was nominated for best supporting actor for his turn as Clifford “Cliff” Ellison, a recently divorced gay man. This marks the first time a Black lead actor was nominated alongside a supporting actor from the same film (it’s happened a previously for actor and supporting actress, or actress and supporting actress).

Domingo and best supporting actress nominee Jodie Foster (“Nyad”) also made Oscar history: It’s the first time two openly LGBTQ actors have been nominated for playing LGBTQ characters.

Two Black women were nominated for supporting actress: Danielle Brooks for “The Color Purple” (as that film’s sole nominee) and Da’Vine Joy Randolph for “The Holdovers.” They were joined by America Ferrera for “Barbie,” the ninth Latina actress ever nominated in the category, and the first since 2021 winner Ariana DeBose.

First-time director and screenwriter Celine Song made history as the first Asian woman nominated for best original screenplay for “Past Lives.”

Women also had strong showings across multiple categories. In original screenplay, a woman hasn’t been nominated since Emerald Fennell won for 2020’s “Promising Young Woman.” This year features three female scribes recognized with “Anatomy of a Fall” (Justine Triet), “May December” (Samy Burch) and “Past Lives” (Celine Song). Adapted screenplay has a sole nominated woman with Greta Gerwig from “Barbie” (along with Noah Baumbach).

In original score, Laura Karpman scored her first career Oscar nom for composing the music of best picture nominee “American Fiction,” one of five women recognized in this category in the last 25 years.

It’s not only about individual representation, in addition to a refreshing mixture of genre and non-English language titles. Reflecting the 93 countries represented by this years ballots, this year marked the first where more than one movie primarily not spoken in English was nominated for best picture: “Anatomy of a Fall,” “Past Lives” and “The Zone of Interest.”

Four comedies — “American Fiction,” “Barbie,” “The Holdovers” and “Poor Things” — are nominated for best picture, tied for the most recognized for the genre in a single year since 2013 (“American Hustle,” “Her,” “Nebraska” and “The Wolf of Wall Street”). All four films were nominated at the Golden Globes for best picture (comedy or musical).

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