The celebrated LGBT African American drama "Moonlight" gets several nods, including Best Picture.
The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences have made their nominations for Oscar gold on Tuesday, and despite years of accusations that the organization is unbalanced when it comes to recognizing actors of color, this year they have nominated six African Americans; an Oscar record.
It may seem that the Academy is over compensating for criticisms in recent years for the absence of spectrum in their honors, but despite those lingering thoughts, the diversity being recognized for Best Picture is a broad Hollywood palette indeed.
Of course the standout is “La La Land,” a modern musical whose color diversity was sewn into the costumes rather than into the cast, but acclaimed black cast dramas such as “Moonlight," “Hidden Figures,” and “Fences” are three out of the five nods for Best Picture.
Also taking into account the octo-nominated “Moonlight” is not only a movie about the struggles a black man must endure in rural Florida, knowing that the main character is also gay brings the Academy’s diversity count to a whole new level.
Broadening the scope even further, “Lion,” which chronicles the life of a lost youth on the streets of Calcutta until he is old enough to find his way back home also has a Best Picture win up for grabs.
Rounding out the list of Best Pictures are surprise sci-fi nominee, “Arrival,” Mel Gibson’s war epic “Hacksaw Ridge," cop drama “Hell or High Water” and tearjerker “Manchester By the Sea.”
However, the spectrum begins to fade when it comes to Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress. Only Barry Jenkins gets a nod as best director for "Moonlight."
Denzel Washington is the only black actor nominated in the Best actor category for “Fences,” and Ruth Negga is given a Best Actress nod for “Loving.”
Supporting roles seems to be the category where most people of color are recognized, especially the actress group.
In the male column, it’s Mahersh Ala for “Moonlight,” and Dev Patel for “Lion.”
Actresses of color dominate the Supporting Role division, with three out of five nominations making their way to the coveted ballot: Viola Davis for “Fences,” Naomi Harris for “Moonlight” and Octavia Spencer for “Hidden Figures.”
Perhaps the only complaint this year about the Academy’s nominations is why it took so long for them to recognize people of color in the industry.
This year’s candidates are the most diverse they have ever been, and for the LGBT community giving “Moonlight” the opportunity to reach a broader audience makes the phrase, "It was an honor just to be nominated" ring truer than ever.
We will have to see if Academy voters are truly opening up thier minds to diversity, or if it's purely song and dance when the The 89th Academy Awards ceremony airs on ABC, February 26.
For a full list of nominees click HERE.