In 87 years of Academy Awards, just 14 men and women of color have earned Oscars for Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor or Supporting Actress. (Technically, this happened 15 times; Denzel Washington won twice, for Glory and Training Day.) That’s the reason why this year's Oscar nominations, which feature absolutely no black (or Asian, or Latino) actors, has caused such an uproar, sparking waves of protests, threats of boycotts, and reigniting the social media movement #OscarsSoWhite. It’s now 2016 and this problem within the Academy (and, let’s be honest, all of Hollywood, where the movies that get nominated are made) seems to be getting worse, not better. And clearly it wasn’t all that great to begin with.
To highlight the situation, and to celebrate the great actors who have found success within this difficult system, ScreenCrush put together this video, compiling every single black winner in 87 years of Academy Awards. Again, their ranks number just 14. True, there are some amazing and iconic performances in here, and some of the best acceptance speeches in the nearly 100-year history of the Oscars. (Halle Berry!) But there should be more. Many, many more.
The Academy has already announced a plan to institute sweeping changes in their membership, vowing to double “the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020.” Hopefully these initiatives work and by 2020 this video is wildly out of date. But it’s going to remain current for a little while longer — at least for one more year.