Despite a list of Oscar nominees that includes a number of African-Americans this year, the creator of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag says there's still work to be done to promote diversity at the Academy Awards, and the film industry as a whole.
April Reign, the Howard County resident who launched the movement
, first created the hashtag in 2015 in response to an all-white list of acting nominees for the Oscars. Last year, all the nominees were white once again.
This year, the 20 Oscar acting nominees announced Tuesday morning included seven people of color. Ruth Negga and Denzel Washington received best actress and actor nominations, respectively, and those up for best supporting actor/actress include Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali and Dev Patel.
But Reign, the managing editor of BroadwayBlack.com, said she wants to see other minority groups represented, including those who work behind the scenes.
"I think it’s important that we are very intentional with our language. So there are black nominees this year, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that the Oscars are diverse," Reign said, adding she'd like to see more Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander nominees, as well as people with disabilities.
"It’s a common misconception that #OscarsSoWhite was only about black people or only about race," she added.
Although she recognized that Academy made strides toward inclusion this year, Reign said she will continue to use #OscarsSoWhite as a platform to promote diversity in film.
"There’s still a lot of work to be done," she said. "Until anyone can go into the movie theater — not just during awards season, but let's just say in the middle of March — and see themselves reflected on the screen no matter who they are, our work is not over."
The Academy Awards will take place Feb. 27 and air live on ABC starting at 7 p.m.