21 Oscar Award "Firsts" That Have Only Happened In The Last 15 Years, Proving We Still Have A Looong Way To Go

8 months ago 5

Do you remember, back in 2015, when the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite went viral as people rightfully criticized the lack of diversity among that year's Oscar nominees? And then in 2016, when literally nothing changed?

Well, thankfully, a little has changed since then. For example, Stephanie Hsu celebrated the record four Asian actors who are nominated this year, telling Entertainment Weekly, "I feel like today we get to have a public-facing moment of intergenerational healing."

However, the Oscars still have a very long way to go in terms of representation. For example, many people feel that Danielle Deadwyler was snubbed this year because, despite her outstanding performance in Till, she wasn't nominated for an award.

She told the Kermode & Mayo's Take podcast, "We're talking about [Academy voters] who, perhaps, chose not to see the film. We're talking about misogynoir — like, it comes in all kinds of ways, whether it's direct or indirect. It impacts who we are."

Here are 21 Oscars award "firsts" that have only happened in the last 15 years, proving we still have a loooong way to go:

1. In 2023, Everything Everywhere All at Once actor Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian nominee for Best Actress.

2. In 2021, Minari actor Steve Yeun became the first Asian American nominee for Best Actor.

3. In 2013, Steve McQueen became the first Black director to win Best Picture, which he took home for 12 Years a Slave.

4. In 2009, Best Picture went to Slumdog Millionaire, making it the first movie featuring an entirely non-white cast to take home the award.

5. In 2010, The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win Best Director.

6. Nomadland director Chloé Zhao was not only the first woman of color to win Best Director, but she was also the first woman of color to be nominated in that category. She took home the award in 2021.

Additionally, she was only the second woman in history to win.

7. In 2021, Jane Campion became the first woman to be a two-time Best Director nominee.

8. In 2017, Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for Moonlight, making him the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award.

9. The 2017 Best Picture winner Moonlight was the first film with an all-Black cast to win in that category.

10. When Anthony Hopkins won Best Actor for The Father in 2021, he became the first openly autistic Oscar winner.

11. In 2022, animator and producer Yvett Merino became the first Latina woman to be nominated for, as well as the first to win, Best Animated Picture for her work on Encanto.

12. In 2012, Annie actor Quvenzhané Wallis became the first Gen Z'er to be nominated for an Oscar.

13. However, the first Gen Z Oscar winner was Billie Eilish, who took home the award for Best Original Song for "No Time to Die" from No Time to Die in 2022.

14. Sound of Metal actor Riz Ahmed became the first Muslim nominee for Best Actor in 2021.

15. When Alfonso Cuarón won Best Director for Gravity in 2013, he became the first Latino filmmaker to take home the award.

16. Troy Kotsur won Best Supporting Actor for CODA in 2022, making him the first deaf man to take home an Oscar in an acting category.

17. In 2010, Precious writer Geoffrey S. Fletcher won Best Adapted Screenplay, making him the first Black winner of an Oscar for writing, directing, or producing.

18. H.E.R. won Best Original Song for "Fight for You" from Judas and the Black Messiah in 2021, making her the first woman of Filipino descent to take home an Academy Award.

19. In 2013, Brenda Chapman became the first woman to win Best Animated Feature for Brave, which she codirected with Mark Andrews.

20. Parasite, which is in Korean, became the first foreign-language film to win Best Picture in 2019.

21. And finally, Parasite also won Best Original Screenplay, making Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won the first Asian people to win an Oscar for screenwriting.

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