LOS ANGELES (KABC) --After facing criticism last year for a lack of diversity in Oscar nominations, the academy's slate of nominees this year have a greater range of backgrounds.
Of the 20 acting nominees this year, seven represent people of color: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Ruth Negga, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali and Dev Patel.
There are also diverse nominees for behind-the-camera work, including film editor Joi McMillon and writer/director Barry Jenkins - both for "Moonlight."
Cheryl Boone-Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said there were many films released this year that represented diverse communities.
"This year, we were able to experience a really great bounty of wonderfulness. So it's great for us today to be able to celebrate it," she said.
Actor Edward James Olmos was among those who were pleased to see more diversity in films this year.
"It really says a lot to all of us to be inclusive. And that's what the arts are. So i think I think they've done a wonderful job. There's some great films this year and there's a lot of diversity."
The academy added 683 new members this year - many of them women and people of color - and that represents about 10 percent of its entire membership.