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The Most Diverse Oscar Nominations Ever: Progress Or The Pandemic?

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Director Chloe Zhao collected four Academy Award nominations for "Nomadland" -- the most by any woman in a single year. (Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
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It's hard to think of many upsides to the pandemic. But Oscar voters took advantage of the shutdown to recognize on Monday an historically diverse slate of Academy Award nominees. Some categories showcased a majority of underrepresented filmmakers and performers, and for the first time two women are competing for best director.

With most movie theaters shuttered for the past 12 months, the major studios postponed most of their releases, opening the door to more diverse, independently produced films. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also abandoned one of its cardinal rules, allowing movies that debuted online to compete, benefitting an array of streaming titles with inclusive casts.

The result: Nine actors of color were nominated, an Oscar record. But are the results due to progress at the Motion Picture Academy or the pandemic's affect on the movie industry?

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The Most Diverse Oscar Nominations Ever: Was It The Academy Voters Or The Pandemic?

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