Academy President Responds to Controversy Over Oscars Diversity - NBC Southern California

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Academy President Responds to Controversy Over Oscars Diversity

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Actress, Director Call for Boycott of Oscars Ceremony

    Actress Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee said they were planning to boycott the 2016 Academy Awards ceremony over a lack of diversity. Rick Montanez reports for NBC4 Today in LA on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016)

    The president of the Academy released a statement Monday night in response to a growing controversy over diversity and this year's Oscar nominations.

    Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said, in part, that she was "heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion."

    "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," Isaacs said in the statement.

    Earlier Monday, film director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith said they would boycott this year's ceremony.

    Pinkett Smith's husband, Will Smith, was not nominated for his performance in the drama "Concussion."

    Pinkett Smith posted a video message on Facebook announcing she would not attend the event.

    "Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power," she said. "And we are a dignified people and we are powerful."

    Last week, a group of activists in Los Angeles also announced they were calling for a national "tune out" of the Academy Awards on Feb. 28.

    In her statement, Isaacs said the Academy will conduct a review of its membership recruitment to help bring more diversity to its 2016 class and future classes.

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