Monday, May 21, 2018
  • Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016
Academy President Says She Is "Heartbroken and Frustrated" Over Lack Of Oscar Diversity
A Monday, Sept. 29, 2014 file photo of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs as she speaks during the press view at the "Hollywood Costume" exhibit in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)
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The lack of diversity in this year’s field of Oscar finalists--punctuated by an all-white lineup of acting nominees--has sparked industry backlash and in some circles a call to boycott the Academy Awards. This evening (1/18) Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), issued a statement about the situation, which read:

“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. 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,” continued the AMPAS chief. “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.”