President Barack Obama weighed in on the ongoing #OscarsSoWhite controversy on Wednesday, January 27, saying the scandal is just one part of an underlying societal issue.
For the second consecutive year, the nominees across all major acting categories at the Academy Awards are white. Soon after the nominees were named, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite began trending on Twitter, and many A-listers commented on the matter. And now, the leader of the free world has offered his 2 cents.
“I think when everybody’s story is told, then that makes for better art,” Obama told reporters on Wednesday. “It makes for better entertainment. It makes everybody feel part of one American family. So I think, as a whole, the industry should do what every other industry should do, which is to look for talent, provide opportunity to everybody.”
Like many of his high-profile peers, Obama, 54, noted that the ongoing boycott conversation is “just an expression of this broader issue.”
“Are we making sure that everybody is getting a fair shot?” he said about the issue, which has inspired a movement across Hollywood to bring diversity to film and TV roles.
Stars such as Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith — through their 2016 Oscars boycott announcements — have spearheaded the conversation. Other celebs to chime in include Matt Damon, Nick Cannon, Donald Trump, Stacey Dash and the host of this year’s show, Chris Rock.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pledged last week in a public announcement to double its minority membership by 2020.
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