The Golden Globe nominations announced this morning all but confirmed that the Academy Awards ceremony next year will be a pretty white event.
Only two actors of color were nominated in the film categories. David Oyelowo was nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for the upcoming civil rights-era film “Selma.” Quvenzhané Wallis also got a nomination in the "Best Actress, Comedy or Musical" category for her role in "Annie."
On top of that, no Asian-American, black or Latino film actors were nominated for a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award, which released its shortlist earlier this week.
The Globes are widely seen as a predictor for the Oscars, Hollywood's biggest awards. But it's the SAGs that have predicted the Academy Awards' acting nominees and winners more consistently than any of the other competition since the awards were first handed out in 1995. So if you’re placing bets, chances are you won’t see any actors of color holding an Oscar next year.
The awards committees are not entirely at fault; there are larger structural issues in Hollywood that keep actors of color from being cast in leading roles.
“This moment is so much bigger than me,” Halle Berry said in her memorable speech when she became the first black actress to win in the best actress category. “It's for the women that stand beside me, Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox. And it's for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”
Now the door appears to have been shut again by Hollywood studios and casting agents.
Since Halle Berry won her Oscar for her performance in 2001’s “Monster's Ball,” all subsequent winners in that category have been white.
Forest Whitaker was the last actor of color to win the best acting category in 2006.
In the 2014 ceremony, Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave"), Barkhad Abdi ("Captain Phillips"), and Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years a Slave") were nominated for an Oscar. The year before that, Wallis ("Beasts of the Southern Wild") and Denzel Washington ("Flight") were nominated.
Even when actors of color do win an Oscar, they are less likely than their white peers to receive subsequent nominations, according to a 2012 analysis by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. The report found Oscar winners and nominees of color are more likely to go on and work in television, which is considered less prestigious work.
Best Supporting Actress nominee Taraji P. Henson in 2009 went on to co-star in the CBS drama “Person of Interest” from 2011 to 2013. Whoopi Goldberg went from “Ghost” to hosting “The View.” Halle Berry went on to act in CBS's "Extant." Demián Bichir went from Oscar nominee to the now-cancelled FX series “The Bridge.” And Viola Davis landed on the ABC drama “How to Get Away With Murder.”
"We're in crisis mode as black actors, not only in the sheer number of roles offered, but the quality of the roles," Davis said last year during an interview an interview on “Oprah's Next Chapter.”
But there may still be hope for the Oscars. Director Ava DuVernay's civil rights film “Selma” has received standing ovations from tough audiences made up of industry insiders and film critics. Calls for an Oscar are amplifying for both her and Oyelowo, who plays Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in the film.
“Selma” was nominated for a Golden Globe in “Best Motion Picture, Drama“ category this morning.
Four years ago, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Academy Award as best director for her film “The Hurt Locker.” DuVernay has a shot to become the first woman of color to win the award.
The 87th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Jan. 15, 2015.
*This story has been updated since it was originally published.