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Golden Globes 2016: Nominations heed call for diversity in Hollywood

The 2015 Golden Globe nominations suggest that last year’s ceremony, which boasted historic victories for LGBT-themed content, was not a fluke.

The 2016 Golden Globe Award nominations were announced on Thursday, and they suggest that last year’s ceremony, which boasted historic victories for LGBT-themed content, was not a fluke.

"Carol," the Cate Blanchett-Rooney Mara drama about a nascent lesbian affair, led all nominees with five, including best actress notices for both its stars. "The Danish Girl," a biopic about one of the first known recipients of gender reassignment surgery, fared well too, with three nominations. And in the TV categories, last year’s big winner – "Transparent" – had another strong showing, with three nominations of its own. It was also a solid day for racial diversity – as Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson, Gael Garcia Bernal, Aziz Ansari, Viola Davis, Queen Latifah and Will Smith, among other actors and actresses of color, all received acting nominations in both film and television categories.

Elba in particular had a great day; he was a double nominee this year (for "Beasts of No Nation" and "Luther") -- for the second straight year in a row. The black British actor has been the subject of mounting speculation that he may soon assume to iconic role of James Bond

"Considering the fact that Elba has been deemed 'too street' a.k.a. 'too black' to play James Bond, his resume, accomplishments and overall presence in the industry is being felt, and his influence as a leading man is being seen and acknowledged. So again, we're are seeing what most minorities have known forever, it's about talent, not about color," Taj Rani, Associate Editor for, told MSNBC on Thursday.  

RELATED: Golden Globe nominations 2016: See the full list

The Globes' selections send an important message in a year where the lack of diversity and representation in Hollywood remains a significant source of controversy. Several filmmakers, critics and performers have pointed out the relative paucity of roles for people of color or who identify with the LGBT community, and the numbers back them up. A USC study of 2014’s 100 top grossing films showed just more than a quarter featured people of color and less than 1% were identified as members of the LGBT community. No transgender characters appeared in those movies at all. 

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science’s current president and the first African-American to fill the role, called on the Hollywood establishment to deepen their commitment to diversity during her opening remarks at an honorary Academy Awards ceremony last month. 

“You, the people in this room, the true movers and shakers in our industry, you understand that when it comes to fair and equal representation in our industry, words are not enough. We also have a responsibility to take action, and we have a unique opportunity to do so now. Interest in the motion picture arts and sciences has never been as strong as it is today. The world is watching to see how we respond to this critical issue,” she said.

"Black talent in Hollywood is actually not a new thing, but Hollywood is taking notice because they can't avoid the talent because the actors and actresses are skilled and on par with their white peers, and well, we see how profitable many of the shows are. 'Empire' for example -- 'Empire' is a cultural phenomenon, it can't be overlooked," said Rani.

Still, there has been some pushback on whether Hollywood has to step up its game. Actor WIll Smith, who is in the best actor race for his NFL medical drama "Concussion," recently argued he has rarely faced racism in the film business. And legendary director William Friedkin ("The Exorcist," "The French Connection") has thrown cold water on the notion that minorities and women don't get the same opportunities as whites behind the camera. "I don’t know. I’m not a woman, or an African-American, so I can’t speak to that experience except to say that I know it’s an open playing field," he said in a recent interview with Cinephilia & Beyond.

Meanwhile, the news wasn't all good on the diversity front when it came to the nominations.

The transgender-themed film-festival hit “Tangerine”– which features two trans actresses in the leads – is a dark horse contender this awards season, but it came up empty-handed on Thursday. Sylvester Stallone earned a well-deserved nod for his sentimental favorite turn as Rocky Balboa in “Creed,” but his African-American co-stars Michael. B. Jordan, Phylicia Rashad and Tessa Thompson were snubbed. Although the NWA biopic was a massive crossover hit this summer, the film didn't get a single Globe nomination. And despite the Globes’ positive strides, they did endure an embarrassing gaffe while tweeting in the run-up to the nominations announcement on Thursday – when they confused Latino actresses America Ferrera and Gina Rodriguez.

The 2016 Golden Globes will air January 10, 2016 on NBC. Here is the full list of nominees:

Best motion picture, drama“Spotlight”“Carol”“The Revenant”“Mad Max: Fury Road”“Room”

Best motion picture comedy/musical“Joy”“The Martian”“Trainwreck”“The Big Short”“Spy”

Best actor in a motion picture, dramaLeonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”Will Smith, “Concussion”Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”

Best actor in a motion picture comedy/musicalMatt Damon, “The Martian”Steve Carell, “The Big Short”Al Pacino, “Danny Collins”Mark Ruffalo, “Infinitely Polar Bear”Christian Bale, “The Big Short”

Best actress in a motion picture, dramaBrie Larson, “Room”Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”Cate Blanchett, “Carol”Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”Rooney Mara, “Carol”

Best actress in a motion picture comedy/musicalJennifer Lawrence, “Joy”Amy Schumer, “Trainwreck”Lily Tomlin, “Grandma”Melissa McCarthy, “Spy”Maggie Smith, “The Lady in the Van”

Best director — motion pictureRidley Scott, “The Martian”Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “The Revenant”Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”Todd Haynes, “Carol”George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best supporting actress in a motion pictureKate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”Jane Fonda, “Youth”Alicia Vikander, “Ex Machina”Helen Mirren, “Trumbo”

Best supporting actor in a motion pictureSylvester Stallone, “Creed”Idris Elba, “Beasts of No Nation”Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”Michael Shannon, “99 Homes”Paul Dano, “Love and Mercy”

Best screenplay — motion picture“Spotlight”“Steve Jobs”“The Hateful Eight”“Room”“The Big Short”

Best animated feature film“Anomalisa”“Inside Out”“The Good Dinosaur”“Shaun the Sheep Movie”“The Peanuts Movie”

Best original score — motion picture“Carol”“The Danish Girl”“The Revenant”“Inside Out”“Mad Max: Fury Road”

Best original song“One Kind of Love,” “Love & Mercy”“Simple Song #3,” “Youth”“See You Again,” “Furious 7”“Love Me Like You Do,” “50 Shades of Grey”“Writing’s on the Wall,” “Spectre”

Best foreign language film“Son of Saul”“Mustang”“The Fencer”“Brand New Testament”“The Club”

Best TV series, drama“Empire” (Fox)“Mr. Robot” (USA)“Game of Thrones” (HBO)“Outlander” (Starz)“Narcos” (Netflix)

Best TV series, comedy“Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)“Silicon Valley” (HBO)“Transparent” (Amazon)“Veep” (HBO”“Casual” (Hulu)“Mozart in the Jungle” (Amazon)

Best TV movie or limited series“Fargo” (FX)“American Crime” (ABC)“American Horror Story: Hotel” (FX)“Wolf Hall” (PBS)“Flesh and Bone” (Starz)

Best actor in a TV series, dramaLiev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan” (Showtime)Wagner Moura, “Narcos” (Netflix)Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul” (AMC)Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot” (USA)Jon Hamm, “Mad Men” (AMC)

Best actor in a TV series, comedyJeffrey Tambor, “Transparent” (Amazon)Aziz Ansari, “Master of None” (Netflix)Rob Lowe, “The Grinder” (Fox)Will Forte, “Last Man on Earth” (Fox)Patrick Stewart, “Blunt Talk” (Starz)Gael Garcia Bernal, “Mozart in the Jungle” (Netflix)

Best actress in a TV series, dramaTaraji P. Henson, “Empire”Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC)Robin Wright, “House of Cards” (Netflix)Caitriona Balfe, “Outlander” (Starz)Eva Green, “Penny Dreadful”

Best actress in a TV series, comedyJulia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (HBO)Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin” (CW)Lily Tomlin, “Grace & Frankie” (Netflix)Jamie Lee Curtis, “Scream Queens” (Fox)Rachel Bloom, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (CW)

Best actor in a TV movie or limited seriesOscar Isaac, “Show Me a Hero” (HBO)Patrick Wilson, “Fargo” (FX)Idris Elba, “Luther” (BBC America)David Oyelowo, “Nightingale” (HBO)Mark Rylance, “Wolf Hall” (PBS)

Best actress in a TV movie or limited seriesQueen Latifah, “Bessie” (HBO)Felicity Huffman, “American Crime” (ABC)Lady Gaga, “American Horror Story: Hotel” (FX)Sarah Hay, “Flesh and Bone” (Starz)Kirsten Dunst, “Fargo” (FX)

Best supporting actress in a series, limited series or TV movieRegina King, “American Crime” (ABC)Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)Maura Tierney, “The Affair” (Showtime)Judith Light, “Transparent” (Amazon)

Best supporting actor in a series, limited series or TV movieDamian Lewis, “Wolf Hall” (CBS)Christian Slater, “Mr. Robot” (USA)Alan Cumming, “The Good Wife” (CBS)Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline” (Netflix)Tobias Menzies, “Outlander”