(LATIMES) — As Motion Picture Academy members cast their ballots for Oscar nominations this week, the biggest issue for many voters isn't about who might be nominated but about the diversity of this year's acting class.
Their fear: The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite will be trending on social media again.
The academy found itself on the defensive last year when white actors earned all 20 of the nominations in the lead and supporting categories. The topic came to define the Academy Awards so much that host Neil Patrick Harris opened the ceremony by quipping: "Tonight we honor Hollywood's best and whitest. Sorry, brightest."
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Yet there's a strong chance this year's acting awards will once again be heavily, perhaps exclusively, white, despite the efforts of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to diversify the organization.