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Oscars 2016: Ava DuVernay says #OscarsSoWhite is an 'emotional' not a 'diversity' issue

'There’s a belonging problem in Hollywood. Who dictates who belongs?'

Jack Shepherd
Wednesday 27 January 2016 13:32 GMT
Ava DuVernay
Ava DuVernay (Getty)

“We’re hearing a lot about diversity,” Ava DuVernay, director of Selma, told the New York Times. Possibly the understatement of the year when you consider how many actors have spoken about #OscarsSoWhite, and the numerous people apparently boycotting the ceremony.

However, DuVernay isn’t one to jump on the bandwagon.

“I hate that word so, so much,” she says of ‘diversity’. “I feel it’s a medicinal word that has no emotional resonance, and this is a really emotional issue. It’s emotional for artists who are women and people of colour to have less value placed on our worldview.”

The director would much rather we used words such as inclusion and belonging: “There’s a belonging problem in Hollywood. Who dictates who belongs? The very body who dictates that looks all one way.”

In an unprecedented move, the Academy has changed its membership policy, decidedly moving to incorporate more women and minorities into its group.

“Change has to happen, it has to happen with the people who dictate who belongs,” DuVernay continued. “It’s disconcerting to hear people say that shouldn’t change. That’s the very reason it should.”

Actors such as Ian McKellen, Clint Eastwood and Michael Caine have all given their opinion on the controversy currently miring the awards show. Catch up with the latest, here.

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