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Oscars 2016: Academy President Releases Statement on Lack of Diversity

Oscars 2016: Academy President Releases Statement on Lack of Diversity

In a rare move, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the Academy president, is speaking out on the lack of diversity in the 2016 Oscar nominations.

“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,” she said in a statement released by the Academy.

“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.”

Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee have both announced that they will be boycotting the Oscars this year after all 20 acting nominees were white actors for the second straight year.

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Posted to: 2016 Oscars, Cheryl Boone Isaacs

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  • Cruizin1960

    In other words, we are instituting an affirmative action program. This will make the awards worthless…no matter the best of the best…but the best plus those for whom we lowered the bar.

  • Revengefan0101

    That’s nice, but how? You have to work in the industry for 15 years before you can become a member. There has to be more diversity behind the scenes, not just in front of the camera. Directors, Producers, Writers, etc…

  • Eagles4Life

    Not even DiCaprio has won an Oscar. It’s not affirmative action, there are very talented actors who aren’t getting the attention they deserve

  • Calvin Adkins

    Don’t waste your time trying to explain to the ignorant.

  • SmartPatriot

    Yup ” Affirmative action” is clearly one of those terms that he’s ready
    to whip out to explain any moment when those not experiencing privilege
    dare to complain about the situation. But i guess the fact that academy
    voters are overwhelming white, male and average in ages in the mid 60′s has no
    bearing on the nominations in his mind,because everything is about “them” complaining and “US” having to lower the bar FOR them.

  • Cruizin1960

    And your point is? There are only 5 slots for each category. Who would you replace, because from what I can tell…all actors nominated had phenomenal performances. The only way to ensure diversity is to set aside slots that can only be filled by black, asian or latino nominees….that is called affirmative action.

  • Moody

    In the last four years they’ve implemented changes to diversify their membership and two years in a row all the nominees are white?!?

  • anthony

    Fuck the Oscars and keep your dam Emmy

  • Moody

    Try harder to be smarter and less of a racist and bigot.

  • Cruizin1960

    And yet, I don’t hear people like Spike saying that there are not enough white people playing pro football (on 35% of players are white)…or how about the NBA? It all has to do with talent and reaching a level that no other has in that given year. You want black nominees – create films that will attract broad audiences and bring in healthy box offices. Do retread old movies and insert black actors (like that awful Annie remake). Be original. It is not as if these movies have not been made before.

    Selma and 12 Years a Slave…excellence in film and they brought in diverse audiences. Every year there are actors and films that do not get recognized because they lacked that little something that put them over the top…not that they weren’t good, but others were better.

  • VanityInsecurity

    We should boycott the BET awards because there are no white actors or actresses. We should ban the NBA because there are not enough white players. This whole race thing is beyond beaten to death.

  • Koos

    dont panic, this is an american nature.

  • ANGELE RUSSELL-KNOX

    “WE NO LONGER NEED TO BEG” …………I AGREE….LET THE BOYCOTT BEGIN……YOU ASK WHAT CAN WE DO AT HOME??? IT’S SIMPLE, DON’T SUPPORT THEIR PRODUCTION………………

    IN 2013, THE AMERICAN-AFRICAN POPULATION IN THIS COUNTRY WAS ESTIMATED TO BE APPROXIMATELY 45 MILLION. SO, IF 45 MILLION PLUS OR MINUS…….. LESS WATCHER OF THE ACADEMY AWARDS OCCURRED….. IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW “ACADEMY” VOTES …..THAT INDUSTRY WAS NOT DESIGNED FOR “OUR ” PARTICIPATION ANYWAY……IT WILL HOWEVER, SPEAKS VOLUMES IN OUR OWN HOMES, NEIGHBORHOODS AND COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA….LET THE NIELSEN FIRM REPORT THAT TO THE ACADEMY…..!!!!!!!! PLEASE SHARE…AND, I AM ASKING; DO WHAT YOU CAN….HOW, YOU CAN!!!!!

  • ANGELE RUSSELL-KNOX

    “WE NO LONGER NEED TO BEG” …………I AGREE….LET THE BOYCOTT BEGIN……YOU ASK WHAT CAN WE DO AT HOME??? IT’S SIMPLE, DON’T SUPPORT THEIR PRODUCTION………………

    IN 2013, THE AMERICAN-AFRICAN POPULATION IN THIS COUNTRY WAS ESTIMATED TO BE APPROXIMATELY 45 MILLION. SO, IF 45 MILLION PLUS OR MINUS…….. LESS WATCHER OF THE ACADEMY AWARDS OCCURRED….. IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW “ACADEMY” VOTES …..THAT INDUSTRY WAS NOT DESIGNED FOR “OUR ” PARTICIPATION ANYWAY……IT WILL HOWEVER, SPEAKS VOLUMES IN OUR OWN HOMES, NEIGHBORHOODS AND COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA….LET THE NIELSEN FIRM REPORT THAT TO THE ACADEMY…..!!!!!!!! PLEASE SHARE…AND, I AM ASKING; DO WHAT YOU CAN….HOW, YOU CAN!!!!!

  • djtorchMusic

    You picked some very bad examples. BET is white owned and it’s a Niche’ Market. BET is not an awards ceremony for all of movies or all of TV. All the people who are making “real money” at BET are NOT Black and I’d love all of America to boycott BET, please do.

    Secondly, about the NBA and we might as well say the same about the NFL too. ALL but one of the owners Owners are White. It’s not their fault that White Men have more options in sports and that Black Men play the game as if their life depends on it. Think about it like this. How much incentive would you have if you knew if you didn’t make it in Football/Basketball that you’d end up in jail, dead or living a life of poverty?

    The whole “race thing” is pretty much what America is built on and any scientist would tell you in a very articulate way why. Personally I don’t care. I don’t care that 95% of TV programming or movies released are for white people either.

    What I do care about is getting “funny looks”, not getting hired for a job I’m well qualified for, not getting gigs I’m well qualified for, being shot/beaten/killed/raped by scared, racist police (of every color), paying more for my house than other races, paying more for my car than other races, etc. That’s the shit I’m worried about. Keep both your Emmy and your Grammy, just treat me like a human being.

  • djtorchMusic

    Look, Let’s just keep it real. The Emmy/Grammy/Billboard Awards are “popularity contests”. Let’s face us Black People are not that “popular” right now. Don’t get mad at me for keeping it real either. We don’t deserve the shit but this is a “Fox News” Nation and you know what’s up with that. I commend those who are NOT Black who look past race and just focus on character and personalities. It should be normal and I wish it was normal but it’s not.

  • David Peacock

    Has it occurred to anybody that there wasn’t any oscar winning performances from an actor representing ‘ethnic diversity’ this year – and in years where there has been, they have been nominated, and in certain instances, won for their talents?

  • http://notly.ru/ Mapгapитa Бaбoвниковa

    Again — write a name who you think should be nominated.

  • smmy33

    The Critic Choice awards didn’t have one black actor in any of the acting catorgies nominated and out their 10 best films of the year not one black lead film nominated… Guess the thousands critics……. racists

    Golden Globes , BAFT’s, Critic Choice All didn’t pick a black lead film in there best films Of the year.. So why the fake outrage when the Oscar’s didn’t.

    Who cares if they boycott, take Chris Rock with you, so sad wouldn’t be seeing Jamie Fox and Will Smith present the millionth Oscar award

    Hollywood’s a global film industry with black people irrelevant global box office, besides Will Smith from 6 years ago, Hollywood doesn’t make money with black leads in foreign markets and makes no money black cast

    Really wish white males grow some balls, stop supporting NBA, why watch a sport domniated black males, make up 90% of the league, do blacks watch NFL, no , Blacks only support other blacks ,film, music , sports………….whites better wake , start doing the same

  • Jedaqia

    Am not an American. Just wondering, I can’t recall any good movie featuring black people in 2015.

  • smmy33

    What’s your point, why wouldn’t the Academy be overwhelming white, since members are from film industries from Western world that are overwhelming white.

    Here’s a secret America for the last 300 years has been overwhelming white.

    Didn’t realize that blacks started the Hollywood film industry or black films dominate the box or world box office.

    If you don’t like living with overwhelming white people , just like millions people who immigrated into overwhelimg white nations, you guys live with your own kind , there are over 40 countries in Afirca with overwhelming black people you can choice to live.

  • smmy33

    Then go fund your own movies, no stoping rich black people making movies using whoever they want on these films.

  • smmy33

    Who cares who owns it , the BET is a all black channel, that airs programming by blacks with only blacks

    And actually it was created by black man , who owned it for years and also got grant from US government to start it, then sold it.

    The problems is that blacks don’t watch NFL, their about 6% of the viewership , which isn’t the same for NBA.

    And you points just delusional, blacks as percentage are more likely work federal , state governments, in some cases like DC , the feral government a work program for blacks.

    As if blacks in America are some studious , highly educated, hard working minority that just can’t job cause rascim..lol

    As for crime , no other society would tolerant such violent, crimal minority , blacks are 12% commit 52% all murders in America, 2 out of every 10 white murdered at hands of blacks, then had rape, assaults, mugging blacks are always 2 to 3 more then percentage population.

  • Jean Morel

    Go read the article “Dear Academy: Here’s What a Completely Nonwhite Set of Acting Nominees Could Look Like” on Decider for a list. Otherwise, people complaining generally bring out the examples of Straight Outta Compton, Creed and Beasts of No Nation.

  • Jean Morel

    Go read the article “Dear Academy: Here’s What a Completely Nonwhite Set of Acting Nominees Could Look Like” on Decider for a list of possibilities.

  • siennagold

    Are Asian actors also boycotting the Oscars? Haven’t seen an Asian actor won in the major acting categories in decades. I think Asians should be the one complaining instead of the Blacks. Why do they only refer to Blacks when they talk of lack of diversity? How about Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans?

  • Jermain hunt

    Now you just being an idiot and facetious your point isn’t made the diversity in the NBA goes on talent some talent cant be ignored the NBA used to be all yeah before they started letting black players play. The BET station was built organized made because of the lack of black TV programming thats why its called b.e.t black entertainment TV. Now getting to the Academy Awards there is a lack of diversity and an organized plan to shut out people of color. It’s like you can’t raise your voice and say that it’s a problem without somebody spitting out foolish rhetoric like they don’t see the problem themselves come on get a clue when people will stand up and say hey there is a problem instead of trying to make up excuses for it that is when things will change be for real

  • Jermain hunt

    Slow down no talented black people as many movies and shows and topics and subjects that are voted on for Academy Awards there were no black people that were talented enough to be nominated are you serious is that what you are telling everyone that no black talented people exist just a question

  • Anika Simpson

    Black folk have, and great art has come out of that that… say something original. If the academy is suppose to be reflective of society, then it needs to reflect that. Also… black can’t win for losing… On one hand, black people get flack for having their own award ceremonies and movies and TV shows (called racist for it (remember the backlash for The WIZ-reverse racism is NOT a thing) but when we demand to be included in the larger society for our contribution, we get responses like yours (get make your own). Geez! Make up your fucking mind!

  • Anika Simpson

    Michael B Jordan; Creed- Idris Elba; Beasts of No Nation, any of the guys from Straight Outta Compton (which has 2 nomination for the 2 white people who worked on the movie) as an easy start but definitely not definitive. But I guess you only watch movies with white people, so you wouldn’t be aware of the vast great art out there. How about some people of hispanic origin or maybe Indian or Asian??? Can they also get some Oscar love or is it just white people are the only ones that can act??? Asshole!

  • http://TruthPerspectives.com/ Delonte’ C. Riggins

    Boycott if you like, it’s your right. But you won’t, because you really don’t want to be involved with an all black event. You just want to complain, and make a counter argument because you feel like your race is being attacked. Truth is, we only want to be treated equally, but the white race always has a need to be treated supremely.

  • Alphonse

    Oscar voters are on average 63 years old. 76% of them are men, and 94% of them are white. The very fact that you can campaign for an Oscar shows how wrong that set-up is that is, it’s on par with a type of bribery albeit a sycophantic version. A few years ago they were asked to bring in younger actors and they picked Jennifer Lawrence, a safe bet; a block buster franchise automatically ensures loads of crazy fans and blonde . Despite her performances not being the better than others. Crazy system.

  • http://j.nelsonleith.com/ John Leith

    To paraphrase Orwell, some people are more diverse than others, apparently.

  • http://j.nelsonleith.com/ John Leith

    A note to all the people in danger of being taken in by the a̶c̶t̶i̶v̶i̶s̶t̶s̶ professional foot-stompers and tantrum-throwers who are taking this opportunity to remind you of their oh-so-important existence: it would be way easier not to get upset about the Oscars if we stopped investing emotion and value in them in the first place.

    The Oscars are not even a popularity contest, much less a measure of merit. They are nothing more than an over-politicized (remember Brokeback vs. Crash?) distribution of patronage by privileged insiders.

    You think adding privileged insiders from different backgrounds is going to make the Oscars worth caring about? If we only had more black numbskulls to balance out the white numbskulls! You think adding more inane politics to a process already dripping with inane politics will make the awards about merit? This whole scandal simply doubles down on what makes the Oscars laughable already: politics over merit.

    Forget boycotting the Oscars. Stop boycotting reason.

  • jenna

    Its silly to boycott ,there are more positive ways of bringing about change. Oscars is all about politics anyway,Winning an oscar doesnt mean the same it did before. Still think its silly to boycott. It makes the oscars a bigger joke than they have already become

  • Jenny from the flop

    Actors are the most immature brats ever. While the rest of us strugle to pay our bill have have a strady job, these morons fight over a trophy.

  • Revengefan0101

    Really? Is this a serious question? So no POC had a good performance in a movie this year?

  • Revengefan0101

    The studio system should support them though. And this goes for any POC.

  • Melanie Harris

    Orrrrr all of the “minorities” (really hate that term) should ban together and fight for diversity and inclusion of all races. :) #unity

  • Ariana

    I agree very much. Why is this even a thing? What is funny is that they changed they academy members this year to be more diverse but they went and chose white actors again. These blacks need to stop blaming it on racism all the time.
    I also ask for the Boycott of the BET awards since they never nominate anyone who isn’t black.

  • Ariana

    BONN is a Netflix movie and is not eligible for an Oscars.

  • Ariana

    I ask for the boyoctt of the BET awards if thats the case. How come no asians, whites, indians, hispanics are ever nominated for those awards? Its more racist then the Oscars.

  • Marie Bunny Shepard

    Does that mean the 20 nominees don’t deserve to have been selected ?

  • Marie Bunny Shepard

    We ? Us ? Them ?What about OUR (race). We’re fucking humans. That’s it. And there is no african-american… There are Americans. When you start realizing that making a difference even in the appellation, you understand there is a deeper problem.

  • Conte435

    The difference is Asians, Japnesse, Korean , Chinese, India have thriving Cinema industries and box office in their own nations that whites don’t play a part in at all

    And the same can’t be said for blacks , cause Africa, the whole continent a dump, first they used guilt from UK to America … now it’s constant whining and blackmail .

    Just like them demanding the next Bond be black, blacks barely 2 % UK population, majority blacks in UK, refugee / immigrates Africa last 20. years, while the Asian pollulation closer to 10%, but thre barely in UK films or TV.. Invisible culturally film, music , movies in UK .

  • Arcade

    It would be nice to see more films such as Do the Right Thing made by blacks these days. Unfortunately, an thankfully you sure as hell aren’t going to see a Tyler Perry win any worthy awards. Stop supporting garbage and start encouraging proper film making, with proper acting instead of the coonery Perry likes to display in his film and there will be more black award winners.

  • Conte435

    Who said the Academy has to be reflective of society the Academy has to be reflective of great film in any give year.
    And don’t see all the only black awards shows losing downs.

    Should sport team be reflective of society
    Funny how blacks don’t demand Grammy’s be reflective of society , how many minority besides blacks nominated for the top awards .

  • Conte435

    Jennifer Lawrence was nominated Critic awards, Gloden globes, Bafta’s every year she was nominated for Oscar all vastly different voting groups and she actually won the Golden Globes and Baft , New York Fim critics .. the year the black African chick won the Oscar , who was nominated and won just shut whining black people.

  • Amber

    I think it’s good that a conversation about the lack of diversity and inclusion has been started in the first place. You can’t fault African American actors for speaking out because other ethnicities haven’t. Also, I would note that only Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett-Smith have openly boycotted the Oscars this year. These are people who are already established and well known in Hollywood and whose careers certainly won’t take a hit. I think it’s a bit close minded to say that some minority is more deserving of winning over the other. We are all in the same struggle-fighting for recognition, and when you begin to elevate one ethnicity over another you become part of the problem. If your issue is with the lack of Asian representation, then find a way to be more supportive of Asians in the arts, but don’t blame African Americans for speaking out. I believe everyone deserves a chance. Not just whites, and not just blacks.

  • Amber

    Also, I’d encourage you to read up on statistics of the amount of Asians who enter art related fields. In the U.S. Asians are highly educated, and enter fields like Medical and Engineering. That’s not to say they don’t deserve a place on the stage, I just believe that culturally it is encouraged that they pursue other avenues. I think Cary Joji Fukunaga is an amazing director and was overlooked in this year’s nominations.

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