#OscarsLessWhite? Diversity comes to Academy Awards

Story highlights

  • There was more diversity this year
  • #OscarsLessWhite became a popular hashtag

(CNN)Is it time for a new hashtag?

This year's Oscar nominations have thrust the conversation about diversity back into the limelight, but this time in a more positive context.
Seven actors of color were nominated Tuesday -- Denzel Washington and Viola Davis for "Fences," Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris for "Moonlight," Ruth Negga for "Loving," Dev Patel for "Lion" and Octavia Spencer for "Hidden Figures."
    Davis is now a three-time Oscar nominee, a first for an African American woman.
    "Moonlight's" Barry Jenkins also made history as the first African American to score nominations for best director, best picture and best adapted screenplay in the same year. That film's co-editor, Joi McMillon, also became the first African American to earn a nomination for achievement in film editing.
    Ava DuVernay, who in 2015 lost out on the opportunity to become the first black woman nominated for a directing Oscar for "Selma," snagged a best documentary feature nomination this year for "13th."
    It all led BET to tweet "Oscars are not so white this year. Look at all this #BlackExcellence recognized in the Oscar nominations."
    #OscarsLessWhite also became a thing.
    The achievements come at a time of heightened racial tension in the United States.
    Mashable was roasted last month when the online publication suggested it was time to retire #OscarsSoWhite. The hashtag was created a few years ago to draw attention to the lack of diversity in Hollywood.
    #OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign told the Los Angeles Times that while this years nominations are blacker, that doesn't necessarily mean they are more diverse.
    "Where are the Latinx movies, the LGBTQIA movies? The Asian American/Pacific Islander community has had a worse year," Reign said. "We can't forget [them] just because we have black nominees this year. #OscarsSoWhite is about everybody."