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Did OscarsSoWhite affect this year's nominees?

WORTHY: Viola Davis

THE #OSCARSSOWHITE hashtag caused an uproar in 2016, as celebrities, activists and social media called for more diversity, after last year's award ceremonies barely included any people of colour.

Fast forward a year, and here we are: Hidden Figures, Fences and Moonlight are all dominating the major award shows, and Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Naomie Harris to name a few, are nominated for the covetable accolades.

While many might consider last year's movement to have impacted who was nominated this year, Viola Davis believes that her fellow nominees would've been nominated anyway because of the quality of their work.

After taking home the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Sunday (Jan 29), the Fences star weighed in on whether the change is tied to the backlash the Academy has received in past years for its dire lack of diversity.

“Response to OscarSoWhite? No. I think that every nominee from Naomie Harris to Octavia Spencer to Hidden Figures to Fences to Moonlight to Mahershala Ali are up there because they deserve to be there,” the actress responded at a press conference. “They’re not there because of the colour of their skin. They put in the work.”

The three-time Academy Award nominee stressed that only time will reveal if the boost in representation is a true sign of progress. “‘And now what?'” she continued. “Is it just a trend to talk about inclusion or is it going to be a norm? That we understand that we’re all a part of the narrative, that all of our stories deserve to be told?”

Davis joins Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) and Naomie Harris (Moonlight) in the Best Supporting Actress category, as their respective films contend for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars on Feb. 26.

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