Steve Sailer made an argument against the “#OscarSoWhite” view by claiming that, the past few years aside (law of small numbers and all that), the share of nominations blacks received is roughly in proportion to their share of the population, particularly if one’s denominator includes more English speaking countries (since they provide many actors for Hollywood films, and as a bonus I don’t have to type out “African-American”). He provided no data for his assertion, and I figured that would be simple enough to check out. He phrased vaguely in terms of a “generation”, but I’m going to keep things simple with just this century. Per wikipedia, they have received 10 nominations for best actor, 4 for best actress, 6 for supporting actor, and 9 for supporting actress, for a total of 29. With 16 years and 5 slots for each of 4 categories, there are a total of 320 nominations. Thus their share is about 9.1%, weighted more toward men than women, and with male nominees more likely to be leads than women.

Wikipedia puts their share of the U.S population at 12.61% of about 322 million, while in the UK it’s 3.0% of roughly 63 million, it’s an uncommon enough reported ancestry in Australia (population of about 24 million, where I am not counting aboriginals) not to have data and the same goes for New Zealand’s 4-5 million, and in Canada 2.5% of about 33 million. I’m not going to bother counting the Republic of Ireland. Totaling some more precise population figures, I get about 447.98 million in total population while the black population is about 43.4 million and a share of about 9.7%. An additional 2.4 nominations would be necessary to make it proportional, so perhaps two years of 0 in a row is reasonable grounds for irritation.

A bigger gap is for U.S born hispanic americans though, who have not received any this century. Adding in those born in Mexico (3) and Puerto Rico (2) (excluding those whose parents were non-natives like Lupita Nyongo or Joaquin Phoenix) gives us a total of 5. I wasn’t initially going to include the extra two in the consolidated list of latin american nominees, as Argentina & Columbia provide far fewer immigrants, but I didn’t apply that standard anywhere else, so the total is 7. For asians I’ll exclude Ben Kingsley and Hailee Steinfeld as they’re sufficiently white-passing that their nominations this century were for white characters, and any Middle Easterners (who are still caucasians as far as government statistics are concerned), leaving just the japanese actors Ken Watanabe and Rinko Kikuchi at 1 nomination each. Both have grown as a share of the U.S population (currently at 17.4% and 4.75%, respectively), but even discounting for that seem distinctly underrepresented.

For those curious, wikipedia’s list of lists does not include Jewish nominees, which perhaps shouldn’t be surprising as it doesn’t categorize by religion.