Oscars 2016: Academy president 'heartbroken and frustrated' over lack of nomination diversity

'Change is not coming as fast as we would like. We need to do more, and better and more quickly'

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The Independent Culture

Like last year, the Academy is once again at the centre of controversy, with both Spike Lee and Jada Pinket Smith having vowed not to attend the ceremony over the lack of diversity amongst Oscar nominees.

As pointed out by many, for the last two years, not a single non-white actor was nominated for an award, even though 2015 saw stellar performances from the likes of Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson and O’Shea Jackson. 

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, has now given her opinion on the matter, expressing how “heartbroken and frustrated” she is at the list.

“This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes,” she said in a statement. 

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“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 added that the Academy will be “taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup” of its membership over the coming weeks in an attempt to bring “much-needed diversity”.

“We recognise 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.”

Not everyone has been quite so outraged by the Oscars’ nomination list: Boyz n the Hood director John Singleton - who was the first African-American to ever be nominated for the best director award - has said he doesn’t have a problem, saying: “I’m not surprised. I’m not disappointed either.”

On the other hand, Chris Rock has spoken out about the award ceremony as well, calling them the “white BET awards”.