HOLLYWOOD, California --The red carpet is rolled out in Hollywood for what organizers say is a more diverse and inclusive Academy Awards, trying to put the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag and controversy of the past to rest for good.
"It just so happened that this year we had an abundance of films that represented inclusion," Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said.
Two years in a row of all 20 nominees in the acting categories being white led to protests, boycotts and mockery.
"I'm here at the Academy Awards, also known as the white people's choice awards," host Chris Rock said during his monologue.
This year, seven of the 20 acting nominees represent racial diversity, from Viola Davis to Dev Patel, and it extends to other categories as well.
Joi McMillon is now the first African-American woman nominated for editing for her work on "Moonlight," and four of the five films nominated in the best documentary category were made by black filmmakers.
"I think they've done a wonderful job," actor Edward James Olmos said. "There's some great films this year, and there's a lot of diversity."
And now, the writer who started the "Oscars So White" hashtag says while there is still more work to do, this year's nominations are a "step in the right direction."
Live Red Carpet coverage begins Sunday, Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. ET | 2 p.m. PT with ON THE RED CARPET AT THE OSCARS. Check your local listings.