The 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards stood in stark contrast to this year's Oscars when three of the four acting awards went to performers of color.
Beasts of No Nation star Abraham Attah won Best Male Lead, Beasts star Idris Elba won Best Supporting Male, and Tangerine star Mya Taylor won Best Supporting Female at Saturday's awards. Taylor also became the first transgender actor to win a major film award. During her acceptance speech, she said, "There is transgender talent. … You better get out there and put it in your movie." The fourth award, Best Female Lead, went to Brie Larson for Room. (For a full list of winners, click here.)
Conversations about the lack of diversity in Hollywood have dominated every Oscar conversation since the nominations were announced in January, and for the second year in a row, every acting nominee was white.
The #OscarsSoWhite outcry led the Academy to announce major changes to their membership in an attempt make the voting body more inclusive and hopefully, as a result, to make upcoming Oscar nominees more diverse. According to a statement, their “goal is to commit to doubling the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020."
Jarett Wieselman is a senior entertainment editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. Wieselman writes about and reports on the television industry.
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