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Inclusion at the Oscars: What’s changed in 2024?

The Inclusion List: Oscars Edition from Stacy L. Smith, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, and Adobe Foundation is updated with new data and insights ahead of the ceremony on March 10. 

The entertainment industry may be eagerly looking ahead to Oscar Sunday, but one research group is looking backward to understand whether Oscar history differs much from Oscars present.

The Inclusion List: Oscars Edition, has been updated for 2024 by Stacy L. Smith and the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, with support from the Adobe Foundation. The website offers insights regarding the 96-year history of the Academy Awards with regard to the gender and race/ethnicity of nominees across 19 categories related to feature film awards.

Visitors can browse by category to glean insights on how many women, people of color, and women of color have been nominated and how many have won. This year, the site also offers insights into how often women and people of color receive multiple nominations within a category.

“The study reveals how often the Academy Awards recognize the talent and work of women and people of color,” said Smith. “For those who want to say that the Awards are improving, it is critical to note that in 2024, the percentage of women and people of color nominated for awards in feature categories still falls far below proportional representation. There is much more work to do to see the creative talents of women and people of color — and particularly women of color — recognized by this industry body.”

In 2024, 32% of nominees in the 19 categories examined were women, which is the same as the previous high point of 32% reached in 2021. A total of 20% of nominees in 2024 were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group, which ranks third behind 2021 (24%) and 2019 (21%) for the most people of color nominated. Women of color received 5.7% of all nominations in 2024, still below the high watermark of 11% in 2021.

There has been little change in the overall percentage of nominees across all 96 years. Women filled 17% of all nominations, while 6% of nominees were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group. Even with historical nominations such as the one for Lily Gladstone this year, fewer than 2% of all nominees were women of color. 

Similar stats were observed for Academy Award winners. Sixteen percent of winners were women, 7% were underrepresented and 2% were women of color. 

This year, the site offers insights into how many people have received multiple nominations overall and by category. Women were more likely than men to receive only a single nomination — 70% of women versus 60% of men were nominated once. The same was true for underrepresented nominees, as three-quarters were nominated just once compared to 60% of white nominees. The largest difference was seen for women of color, as 86% were nominated only once. 

There were also disparities among those with multiple nominations. Between women and men, the most-nominated man has 54 nods compared to 35 for the highest-nominated woman. Similarly, underrepresented nominees reached a maximum of 10 nominations, and for women of color the high point was 4.

Additional information presented on the website includes insights regarding specific racial/ethnic communities. There are also updates regarding the changes observed since #OscarsSoWhite became a critical hashtag and rallying cry in 2015. For example, the percentage of nominees from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups nearly doubled — going from 9.5% to 17.1% — when the authors compared the 9 years prior to #OscarsSowhite (2007-2014) to the 9 years following (2015-2024). There was significant improvement in the number of underrepresented nominees across 13 of the 19 categories evaluated.

The updated Inclusion List: Oscars Edition builds on the partnership between Stacy L. Smith, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, and the Adobe Foundation. The groups launched the site last year ahead of the 2023 Academy Awards and have since announced the Inclusion List: Film and Inclusion List: Series, which name the most inclusive films and series as well as the individuals and companies responsible. 

Beyond the Inclusion List: Adobe and Adobe Foundation established the Adobe Film & TV Fund in January 2024, committing $6M to support underrepresented creators and filmmakers in finding career opportunities in the film and TV industry. Through this new initiative, Adobe and the Adobe Foundation are committed to driving greater representation in the film industry by providing resources, community and support to underrepresented creators on-screen and behind the camera.

The Inclusion List: Oscars Edition is the latest from the groups, and can be found alongside the Inclusion List: Film and Inclusion List: series at http://inclusionlist.org.