The Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, has finally addressed the lack of diversity in the 2016 Oscars nominations.
In a statement released by the Academy, Cheryl said: “I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year’s nominees. While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership. In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond.
“As many of you know, we have implemented changes to diversify our membership in the last four years,” she continued. “But the change is not coming as fast as we would like. We need to do more, and better and more quickly.
“This isn’t unprecedented for the Academy,” Cheryl added. “In the ‘60s and ‘70s, it was about recruiting younger members to stay vital and relevant. In 2016, the mandate is inclusion in all of its facets: gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. We recognize the very real concerns of our community, and I so appreciate all of you who have reached out to me in our effort to move forward together.”
Actors David Oyelowo and Jada Pinkett Smith, and director Spike Lee have all announced that they will be boycotting the Oscars following the release of this year’s nominees list having only white actors in all 20 acting categories two years in a row.