Ava DuVernay Rebrands Hollywood Diversity Issue: ‘A Belonging Problem’

“Who dictates who belongs? The very body who dictates that looks all one way,” “Selma” director says at Sundance

Ava DuVernay Star Wars
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 18: Ava DuVernay attends The Broad museum's inaugural celebration September 18, 2015, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Ava DuVernay has more to say about the lack of diversity among Academy Awards nominees — except the “Selma” director reviles the very word “diversity” itself.

“I feel it’s a medicinal word that has no emotional resonance, and this is a really emotional issue,” she said during a Sundance event. “It’s emotional for artists who are women and people of color to have less value placed on our worldview.”

DuVernay has her own term for what’s going on.

“There’s a belonging problem in Hollywood,” she said, per the New York Times. “Who dictates who belongs? The very body who dictates that looks all one way.”

But DuVernay sees promise in how the Academy reacted to the uproar, changing its policies to promote diversity among Oscar nominees.

“Change has to happen, it has to happen with the people who dictate who belongs,” she said. “It’s disconcerting to hear people say that shouldn’t change. That’s the very reason it should.”

One of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ top goals is to double the number of women and diverse members by 2020, the organization vowed on Friday.