One year out from the history-making 2013 Oscars that saw “12 Years a Slave” become the first-ever Best Picture winner from the black perspective, 2014 looks to be a shameful step backward for diversity in Hollywood.
According to Gold Derby’s overall racetrack odds, there won’t be a single African-American actor, actress, director or picture nominated in a top category this year, making 2014 one of the whitest Oscars ever.
A year ago, much was made about the great advancement of African-American films and stars in the Oscar derby, including early strong showings on our charts for “12 Years a Slave,” “The Butler,” “Fruitvale Station” and “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” But 2013 was the exception, not the rule. A few years back, the 2010 Oscars also featured a lack of African-American nominees across the board.
When looking at the combined odds of our Experts, Editors and Users, the likeliest person of color to receive an Oscar nomination this year is David Oyelowo (“Selma“). Oyelowo has overall odds of 33/1 as Best Actor, good enough for seventh place in that crowded category. The film itself has 50/1 odds for Best Picture (11th place) while director Ava DuVernay has 100/1 odds for Best Director (9th place).
If Oyelowo beats the odds and gets nominated, he will likely stand alone according to our predictions. There are no black contenders for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor or Best Supporting Actress that rank within the Top 10 likely nominees or have better than 100/1 odds on our charts.
That’s quite a difference from last year when there were three black stars nominated for acting awards: Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”) as Best Actor, Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips“) as Best Supp. Actor and eventual winner Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) as Best Supp. Actress. “12 Years a Slave” helmer Steve McQueen was a top contender for Best Director, while the film’s scribe John Ridley won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Despite the lack of color predicted at this year’s Oscars, it’s not all bad news for Hollywood diversity in 2014. Just look at last weekend’s box office results, where the Idris Elba/Taraji P. Henson movie “No Good Deed” topped the charts with $24 million. That proves there’s a strong audience for such films.
And thanks to the success of “Scandal,” “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Lies” on the small screen, this year’s Emmys actually set a record for the most-ever black nominees with 11 total acting nominations and two wins: Joe Morton as Drama Guest Actor and Uzo Aduba as Comedy Guest Actress. Take note, Oscars!
Can Oyelowo break into this year’s Best Actor race? Use our drag-and-drop menu below to make your Oscar predictions.