#OscarsSoWhite: Every female or minority nominee (and winner) for Best Director, ever

CCTV News

Actress Sofia Vergara attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 28, 2016 in Hollywood, Calif. Producers assembled a diverse array of presenters for Sunday's show, including Vergara, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg, Kerry Washington, and Quincy Jones. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP)

The biggest nominees for the 2016 Academy Awards were nearly a clean sweep – for white actors, directors, and writers – leading to a massive backlash to the lack of diversity. Some, like Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, were boycotting the ceremony. Chris Rock named it “the white BET awards” and on Twitter, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was being used hundreds of times per minute leading up to the Oscars.

In the categories of Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress, only white men and women were nominated. In the Best Director category, Alejandro Iñárritu (for “The Revenant”) was the lone standout as a minority nominee.

Oscars 2016

CCTV America's May Lee captured the glitz and glam of the 2016 Oscars.

In many ways the 2016 edition was basically a repeat of 2015, which as Mashable described was “cringeworthy”, a year that “the Academy had the whitest group of nominees since 1998.”

So, just how white male dominated is it? The interactive below represents every Oscar nomination for Best Director since the very first awards in 1927. Of the 435 nominees, only 19 have been either a woman or minority – slightly over 4 percent.

Hover over the blue (nominee) and gold (winner) statues to learn more about the director, when they were nominated, and for what film. 

This post has been updated to reflect Iñárritu’s win at the 88th Academy Awards Sunday night. 

White male nominee or winner Female or minority nominee
Female or minority winner


Imani Cheers of George Washington University on Hollywood diversity

CCTV America interviewed Imani Cheers, an assistant professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University about diversity in Hollywood and the Oscars. Watch it here:

Imani Cheers of George Washington University on Hollywood diversity

Imani Cheers of George Washington University on Hollywood diversity

CCTV America interviewed Imani Cheers, an assistant professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University about diversity in Hollywood and the Oscars.