Four days after the 2016 Oscars nominations were announced, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs is speaking out about the lack of diversity represented in this year's nominees.
Yesterday, she took to the organization's Twitter to release an official statement amid the backlash. "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," Boone Isaacs wrote. "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."
Although the Academy has taken steps to diversify, this year's Oscars class was once again composed solely of white actors and actresses—something Boone Isaacs is determined to change. "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."
She concluded the statement by reminding everyone that the Academy is continually evolving and to thank those who have expressed their concern: "This isn't unprecedented for the Academy. 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."
A statement from Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs pic.twitter.com/Nqhgc7sbqG— The Academy (@TheAcademy) January 19, 2016