I believe that providing diversity in roles and pictures is the first step to creating diversity in nominations. As studios choose to finance and market more diverse characters, we will (hopefully) see an upward trend in diversity in nominations by the 7,000+ academy members. If the studios decide to stick with non-diverse (i.e., white) casting, its likely that we will regress to the one token nomination instead of a range of incredible films to choose from.
This year’s nominations have more representation of black actors and actresses, which is incredible to see, however, Asian, Latino, and other minority actors are still highly underrepresented overall, in both the motion pictures and nominations.
I would love to have seen the Korean film The Handmaiden make the cut for Foreign Language film. However, this is not surprising as no Korean film has been nominated in the history of the Academy.
I hope that as more studios enter the field will to take more risk, with deeper pockets, and more diverse modes of distribution, we will see a much larger range of films and roles come out of Hollywood.