The Academy Awards (Oscars) have a bit of a rep of not being to inclusive when discussing those of us with melanin. Well this year a number of first could happen check out these facts
1. After being criticized the past two years for being TOO WHITE, the Oscar nominees are a lot more diverse this year. In fact, 18 black people are nominated this year. And if even FOUR of them win, we'll see a record for the most African American Oscars winners.
2. "Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins could become the first African American to win Best Director. Only three other black filmmakers have been nominated: John Singleton for "Boyz N the Hood", Lee Daniels for "Precious", and Steve McQueen for "12 Years a Slave". Singleton is still the youngest person to ever be nominated. He was 24 when he was nominated for "Boyz N the Hood" in 1992.
3. "La La Land" director Damien Chazelle could become the youngest person ever to win Best Director, at 32 years and 38 days old. The current youngest is a guy named Norman Taurog, who was 32 years and 260 days old when he won for some movie called "Skippy" all the way back in 1931.
4. If Denzel Washington wins Best Actor for "Fences", he'll become the first black person to win three Academy Awards. He would also get the distinction if the movie wins Best Picture, because he's credited as a producer.
By the way, Kimberly Steward could become the first black woman to win Best Picture, because she's credited as a producer on "Manchester By the Sea". Actually, so is Amazon. And the Best Picture nod for "Manchester By the Sea" made them the first streaming company to get an Oscar nomination.
5. Octavia Spencer could become the first African American WOMAN to win multiple Oscars. She's up for Best Supporting Actress for "Hidden Figures", and she previously won in the same category for "The Help". Before now, no black woman had even been nominated again after winning an Oscar.
6. Speaking of "The Help", it featured THREE of this year's acting nominees . . . Best-actress nominee Emma Stone from "La La Land", and supporting-actress nominees Viola Davis ("Fences") and Octavia Spencer ("Hidden Figures").
7. If 63-year-old Isabelle Huppert wins Best Actress for "Elle", she'll be the OLDEST winner in that category since Jessica Tandy, who was 80 when she won for "Driving Miss Daisy" in 1990.
8. Here are a few other 'firsts' that could happen: "La La Land's" sound engineer Ai-Ling Lee would be the first Asian winner for Best Sound Editing.
"Arrival's" Bradford Young and "Moonlight's" Joi McMillon would be the first black winners for Best Cinematography and Best Editing, respectively.
And "Kubo and the Two Strings" would be the first animated movie to win Best Visual Effects.
9. If "O.J.: Made in America" wins Best Documentary, it will become the longest movie to win an Academy Award. It's 467 minutes long.
The current record is 431 minutes. That's "War and Peace", which won Best Foreign Language movie in 1969. The "O.J.: Made in America" nomination has been controversial, because it's more like a TV miniseries than a movie. But it qualifies because it did have a limited theatrical run in New York and L.A.
10. "La La Land" is nominated for a record-tying 14 Oscars . . . and it could set a new record for the most Oscar wins. The current record is 11, and two movies have done that: "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" and the original "Ben-Hur".
Despite the 14 nominations, the best it could do is 13 wins . . . because it's nominated twice in the Best Original Song category.
11. Kevin O'Connell was nominated for Best Sound Mixing for his work on "Hacksaw Ridge". This is his 21st nomination . . . and he's never won. And yes, he holds the record for most nominations without a win.
12. Of the Best Picture nominees, "Arrival" had the biggest production budget at $47 million. There were 58 movies with higher budgets in 2016 alone . . . "Captain America: Civil War" was the most expensive movie of 2016 at $250 million.
Of the Best Picture nominees, "Moonlight" had the lowest budget at $5 million.
13. The average cost of a 30-second ad spot during the Oscars this year is $2.1 million. That’s 58% less than the Super Bowl. Last year's Oscars averaged 34.4 million viewers, which was the smallest audience since 2008.
14. The Oscar ceremony costs $42.8 million to put on, meaning that basically everything is expensive . . . even the 16,500-square-foot red carpet costs $30,000.
The Oscar statues are 24-karat gold-plated, and are worth roughly $696 each.
15. Jimmy Kimmel is hosting for the first time. And he's being paid $15,000.