La La Land tied an all-time record long held by All About Eve (1950) and Titanic (1997) this morning, earning 14 Academy Award nominations.
But the real story is the Academy’s tentative success at addressing its diversity issues after two straight years in which no actors of color were nominated for Oscars, leading to widespread use of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag. Seven non-white actors are counted among the 20 acting nominees for this year’s Oscars, and Barry Jenkins (who is African American) earned a Best Director nomination for Moonlight. Eleven years after his death, the great August Wilson was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay for Fences.
To address the issue, the Academy reportedly began easing out its older, often professionally inactive members (who are mostly white) and inviting a younger, more diverse group to join. In addition, the Hollywood studios seems to have made a conscious effort to greenlight more projects with diverse creative teams. These efforts appear to be bearing fruit.
Nine films were nominated for Best Picture: Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight.
See the full list of nominees here. The 2017 Academy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC Sunday, Feb. 27.