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Arts and Entertainment

Academy President Responds To Backlash Over Oscar Nominations

Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the nominees for the 87th Academy Awards in Beverly Hills on Thursday. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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After much controversy was stirred over the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominations, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences spoke out in response to the backlash and said the organization is making strides.Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first black president of the AMPAS, said on Friday night that the Academy was "committed to seeking out diversity of voice and opinion" and that the mostly white and male slate of nominations would push her to ensure that they remained focused on the goal of being more inclusive. This year's Oscar nominations featured the first all-white roster of acting nominees since 1998, and many felt that Best Picture nominee Selma's general lack of nominations was among many snubs that reflected a racial bias among the almost entirely-white voting block. Boone Isaacs, though, said that audiences shouldn't feel that way about Selma's near shutout. "It's nominated for the Oscar for best picture. It's an award that showcases the talent of everyone involved in the production of the movie," she told the AP.

Many took to social media after the nominations were announced with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to voice their displeasure.

Boone Isaacs felt that despite the nominations, the Academy was making the most progress it had in its history. "In the last two years, we've made greater strides than we ever have in the past toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization through admitting new members and more inclusive classes of members."

"Personally, I would love to see and look forward to see a greater cultural diversity among all our nominees in all of our categories," she said. "It matters that we pay attention to the diversity of voice and opinion and experience, and that it doesn't slide, it doesn't anywhere except for forward."