What Does President Obama Think of the #OscarsSoWhite Controversy?

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.

U.S. president Barack Obama speaks at a reception for the nation's mayors in the East Room of the White House January 21, 20016 in Washington, DC.
U.S. president Barack Obama speaks at a reception for the nation's mayors in the East Room of the White House on Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C. Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images

"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.

John Krasinski and the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, announce the nominees during the 88th Oscars Nominations Announcement at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on January 14, 2016.
John Krasinski and the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, announce the nominees during the 88th Oscars Nominations Announcement at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Jan. 14. Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

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 CannonDonald 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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