The 93rd Academy Awards proved to be a celebration of diverse content and characters that honored stories led by diverse production teams. 9 of the 20 acting nominations and both the supporting acting awards went to people of color with Youn Yuh-jung becoming the first Korean to win for Best Supporting Actress and Daniel Kaluuya getting the statue for Best Supporting Actor.
The event also further highlighted how powerful streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon have become for the film industry in addition to the television industry. Netflix received 35 nominations and 7 awards in total.
This Oscars marked a number of important firsts:
- Producers Shaka King, Ryan Coogler and Charles D. King were the first all-Black team nominated for the Best Picture award for their work on “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
- For the first time, two actors of Asian descent were nominated for Best Actor with Steven Yeun nominated for his work in “Minari” and Riz Ahmed for “Sound of Metal.”
- Two women were nominated in the directing category for the first time. Chloe Zhao became only the second woman, and the first woman of color, to win for “Nomadland” while Emerald Fennell was also nominated for “Promising Young Woman.”
As the most nominated distributor of the past 2 years (with 35 and 24) and most awarded this year (7), Netflix has proven its power with audiences and Academy members alike and can set the tone for diversity within content for the industry as a whole.
For brands to reach consumers in ad-limited environments like theaters and streaming platforms, the ability to align with content and characters that resonate with a more diverse set of target consumers is extremely important. Six years removed from #OscarsSoWhite, the 2021 Oscars prove that productions valuing diversity in storytelling are seeing success. This is an opportunity for brands to support diversity through entertainment and create moments to set the tone for a generation.