Leading up to the 2016 Academy Awards, the conversation centered around #OscarsSoWhite and a boycott. It certainly wasn’t the PR any awards show would want, and even the Academy’s president revealed she was “disappointed” to see all white nominees in the major acting categories. That problem won’t carry over to the 2016 Emmy Awards, though. In fact, the actors and actresses nominated this year form the most diverse group yet.
When looking at the acting categories — comedy, drama, movie/limited, and guest — 21 of the actors and actresses nominated are non-white, as Deadline reports. Some categories were strictly filled with white actors, while others were more evenly split. In Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, for example, half of the contenders are black: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story stars Courtney B. Vance and Cuba Gooding Jr., and Luther‘s Idris Elba.
“At no time in the past 70 years has our industry achieved the vibrancy, relevancy, consistent creative excellence, and diversity we are experiencing at this very moment,” said Television Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum, according to EW.
We’ve seen the Emmys improve when it comes to diversity in recent years. At the 2015 show, How to Get Away with Murder‘s Viola Davis became the first black woman to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and she gave a powerful speech about the need for more diverse roles in film and TV. Her claim is supported by numerous studies that show how often Hollywood fails when it comes to including those who are not straight, white men, both in front of and behind the camera.
This year’s Emmy nominations haven’t solved the problem overnight, but it does seem to indicate that progress is being made.