The Oscar nominees were announced less than a week ago, and the controversy surrounding the significant lack of African-American nominees has been around for almost as long. Jada Pinkett Smith brought up the idea of boycotting the ceremony and Spike Lee announced that he’ll be doing just that, and now Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has responded to the controversy and the calls for a boycott. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she says she’s “heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion” among the nominees, and that it’s “time for big changes.”
As for what those changes will be, Boone Isaacs says that the Academy “is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup” of its membership, and that it will be looking into the way it recruits members “in order to bring about much-needed diversity.” Perhaps getting out in front of the sort of weirdos who are opposed to diversity, Boone Isaacs noted that “this isn’t unprecedented for the Academy,” as it also made a conscious effort to recruit more young people in the ‘60s and ‘70s in order to “stay vital and relevant.” The problem, presumably, is that now even those young people have become old people.
Finally, Boone Isaacs admits that, even if the movie industry as a whole is to blame “for not creating more diverse product,” it wouldn’t be right for the Academy to try and “avoid responsibility.” Basically, she’s acknowledging that the Academy screwed up, and she’s trying to take actual steps to make sure that the Oscars don’t end up like this again.