#OscarsSoWhite: Academy Awards Panned for Lack of Diversity

Social media lights up with disappointment.

ByABC News
January 16, 2015, 8:48 AM

— -- When nominations for the Academy Awards were read on Thursday morning, many people bristled at the lack of diversity.

The 20 lead and supporting actor nominees were all white, which is the second time this has happened in nearly 20 years.

It sparked the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, with people registering their criticism of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

One of the most notable snubs was of David Oyelowo, who plays the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the acclaimed film “Selma.”

Oyelowo had been widely expected to snag a best actor nod for his portrayal.

Stacey Wilson of The Hollywood Reporter said the diversity issue isn’t just about the nominees.

“It’s a bigger issue in Hollywood, not a lot of diverse films,” she said.

Women were also largely overlooked, especially in the category for best director. The category hasn’t seen a single female nominee since 2013, when Kathryn Bigelow won for her film “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Noticeably not nominated this year was Angelina Jolie, who directed the film “Unbroken.”

Also overlooked was “Selma” director Ava DuVernay. Had she been nominated in the best director category, she would have been the first African-American woman ever considered in the category.

Just last year, actress Lupita Nyong’o, who is black, took home a best supporting actress Academy Award for her turn in the film “12 years a Slave.” That film also took best picture award.

Film executive Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the Academy’s first black president, said the organization is spending more time "seeking out new talent, new voices, diversity."

Many point out Hollywood has a diversity problem behind the scenes, too. According to the Los Angeles Times, of the Academy's nearly 6,000 members, about 94 percent are white and 77 percent male. The Academy has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment.

Many people took to Twitter to register their disappointment over the nominations:

But not everyone agreed.

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