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FEATURING DARNELL HUNT – This year’s Academy Awards was unlike any other in history for at least two reasons. The first and most important reason was that more African Americans won awards on Sunday than ever before.

The second reason was that there was a major snafu over who won the most coveted award of the night – best Picture. La La Land, which had snagged a historic number of nominations was favored to win, and did get announced as the winner. But minutes later, it was determined that the announcers mistakenly read the wrong envelope and that it was Moonlight that won instead. La La Land’s main cast members were largely white, while Moonlight has a black ensemble cast.

For the past two years the Academy had faced serious accusations of being too white. The nation’s most high-profile film awards ceremony came just days after UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies released its annual Hollywood Diversity Report which found that people of color are still not well enough represented in the hugely influential industry.

Read the 2017 Hollywood Diversity Report HERE.

Darnell Hunt, Chair of the UCLA Department of Sociology and Director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. He is also a Professor of Sociology and African American Studies.

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