President Barack Obama is the latest to weigh in on the Academy Awards controversy, caused by all 20 nominees in the acting categories to be all-white for the second straight year. As a result, some of Hollywood’s elite—including Will Smith, Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith—are boycotting this year’s ceremony.
“I think when everybody’s story is told, then that makes for better art, that makes for better entertainment,” Obama told a group of reporters on ABC on Thursday (Jan. 28). “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.”
The President continued, “I think the Oscar debate is really just an expression of this broader issue of: Are we making sure that everybody is getting a fair shot?”
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the President of the Academy, has promised sweeping changes to its membership to include more diversity in the makeup of those selecting the nominees. Meanwhile, some white actors have said some boneheaded things about the controversy.