Jessica Chastain, Annette Bening, Margot Robbie, Diane Kruger, Saoirse Ronan, and Kate Winslet are all great actresses in their own right. But they also share something else in common.
They are all white.
No surprise then that after the Los Angeles Times published a cover photo featuring the actresses with the headline "A shift in focus" that there was a negative reaction to its "whiteness".
Honestly @jes_chastain as an outspoken voice for equality how do you pose for a photo like this and not feel absolutely mortified by the blatant exclusion? How is it possible to not understand the msg this photo sends? pic.twitter.com/nb8caRfVL6??? Rebecca Carroll (@rebel19) December 22, 2017
Eventually Chastain herself went public with her own disappointment in the lack of representation of women of colour in such features, and in films in general.
Its a sad look that there's no WOC in this pic of us promoting our female lead films. The industry needs to become more inclusive in its storytelling. What were your favorite WOC lead films this year? I LOVED @salmahayek in #BeatriceAtDinnerhttps://t.co/tzoijwy88q??? Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) December 24, 2017
None of the other stars in the photo has made comments in response to the criticism of the cover.
Jessica Chastain has expressed her dismay at the lack of non-white leads in film after she was part of a 'Los Angeles Times' shoot that featured only white actresses. Photo: Evan Agostini
The actual Times feature sprang from a round table hosted by the paper and attended by the actresses.
Chastain told the paper that her experience being a juror at Cannes made it clear "how little stories talked from a woman's point of view, from a female protagonist, a story about a woman who wasn't victimised".
After the 2016 Oscar nominations spurred the hashtag #oscarssowhite over the lack of diversity in the line-up, this year saw some improvement with major winners featuring non-white actors including best picture Moonlight, as well as individual winners Viola Davis and Mahershala Ali.
Its TERRIBLE that I can't think of at least 5 female lead films with woc this year.??? Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) December 24, 2017
While the nominations for the 2018 Oscars won't be known for several weeks, the SAG nominations - often considered the best indicator of Oscars contention - are not filling diversity advocates with much hope, especially in the best actress category.
Jessica Chastain (with Idris Elba) in a scene from 'Molly's Game', which has earned the actress a Screen Actors Guild award nomination. Photo: MICHAEL GIBSON
The nominations for best actress in a leading role are Judi Dench (Victoria & Abdul), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird).
The nominations for best male lead are a bit more promising, including Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.) and Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out).