After celebrities like director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith decided to boycott the Oscars following the lack of nominations for minority talent, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a letter regarding the issue.
In a letter published on Twitter, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said she was "heartbroken and frustrated" by the lack of nominations for actors, directors, writers and other positions filled by people of color. Isaacs added that although it's a difficult discussion to have, it's an incredibly important one, and said that in the coming weeks, the Academy will be "taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup" of its membership body.
A statement from Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs pic.twitter.com/Nqhgc7sbqG— The Academy (@TheAcademy) January 19, 2016
Currently, 94 percent of the Academy's membership is white men and women. Although the Academy has been trying for years to diversify its membership, Isaacs acknowledged it isn't moving fast enough, and said more direct methods would have to be taken to fix the problem.
"We need to do more," Isaacs said in the letter. "And better and more quickly."
Isaacs also pointed out that this isn't the first time the Academy has undergone dramatic changes to fix issues within its voting body. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the Academy made a push to add as much young talent as it could in order to keep the award show relevant when interest was dying off.
Now, Isaacs acknowledged that the main issue facing group was the lack of diversity, and thanked critics for bringing the issue to her attention once again.
"In 2016, the mandate is inclusion in all of its facets: gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation," Isaacs said. "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."
This is the second year in a row that no minority actors were highlighted for the 20 acting nominations, with one of this year's biggest snubs being Creed and its main star, Michael B. Jordan.
The full list of nominations can be found here.
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