Why are the Oscars still so white?

When the lists of nominees for the major film awards in 2020 were announced, there was, once again, a glaring anomaly. Not a single person of colour was nominated in the Bafta acting categories, while the Oscars managed only Cynthia Erivo for her part in Harriet.

It is an issue that the industry is well aware of: in 2015, the ceremony saw #OscarsSoWhite trending on Twitter, while actors such as Eddie Murphy were rebuking the academy from the stage back in the 1990s. So what explains the glacial pace of change? Guardian arts and culture correspondent Lanre Bakare tells Anushka Asthana that there have been plenty of false dawns over the years in the quest for greater diversity.

Also today: Joan E Greve on a hectic week of US politics after Donald Trump was formally acquitted in his impeachment trial and the Democratic party’s Iowa caucuses descended into farce.

Oscar trophy

Photograph: Étienne Laurent/EPA

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