The 2022 Oscar nominations represent a step backwards from last year's record-breaking line-up.

2021 saw the most ethnically diverse acting nominations in the history of the awards, with non-white performers making up nine of the 20 acting nominees.

It is a different story this year, with only four of the 20 nominees non-white.

They are Will Smith (for King Richard) and Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth) in the best actor category, and Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) and Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard) for best supporting actress.

King Richard stars Aunjanue Ellis and Will Smith nominated for Oscars this year

All of the people up for best actress and best supporting actor are white.

It is still a more diverse list than 2020, when just one of the 20 nominees was non-white.

But it follows several years of criticism levelled at the film industry in both the US and UK for poor representation at award ceremonies of people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

In 2015 and 2016, there were no non-white performers nominated in any category at the Oscars.

More recently, in 2020 not a single non-white actor was nominated at the Bafta film awards.

The first non-white performer to win an acting Oscar was Hattie McDaniel, who was named best supporting actress in 1940 for Gone With The Wind.

Hattie McDaniel pictured with her Academy Award in 1940

There have been non-white winners in the acting categories 22 times: five for best actor, once for best actress, six for best supporting actor and 10 for best supporting actress.

This year’s nominations are also a step backwards for gender balance in the best director category.

Just one of the five hopefuls is female: Jane Campion, who has been nominated for The Power Of The Dog.

Last year saw two women named in this category, Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) and Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), with Zhao going on to win the award.

Campion is the first woman to be nominated twice for best director, with her first nomination in 1994 for The Piano.

Only seven women in the history of the Oscars have ever received a best director nomination.

Along with Jane Campion, Emerald Fennell and Chloe Zhao, they are Lina Wertmuller (for Seven Beauties in 1977); Sofia Coppola (Lost In Translation, 2004); Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, 2010); and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, 2018).

Source: Press Association