Jada Pinkett Smith Applauds Academy’s Push for Diversity
“I would like to express my gratitude to the Academy, specifically Cheryl Boone Isaacs,” actress says after threatening to boycott the ceremony
Debbie Emery | January 19, 2016 @ 6:42 PM
Last Updated: January 20, 2016 @ 10:31 PM
After threatening to avoid the Oscars on Feb. 28, because of a lack of diversity in this year’s acting nominations, Jada Pinkett Smith is now congratulating the Academy for its pledge to change.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the Academy, specifically Cheryl Boone Isaacs, for such a quick response in regard to the issue at hand,” the “Matrix Reloaded” actress wrote on Facebook Tuesday.
Pinkett Smith’s message comes after Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs released a statement Monday acknowledging that there is an issue and promising to make “big changes.”
“I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes,” she said, fittingly on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
“The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership,” Boone Isaacs continued. “In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond.”
In her prior Facebook post on Jan. 16, Will Smith‘s wife wrote: “At the Oscars … people of color are always welcomed to give out awards … even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating all together?”
The absence of color in this year’s nominations caused the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag by April Reign to trend for a second year. In an interview with TheWrap this week, Reign said Boone Isaacs has “an uphill battle” in bringing change to the Academy.
“She is one person and she may be battling against an Academy that we know is 94 percent white, that is over 70 percent male and has an average age of 63,” Reign told TheWrap, regarding the Academy’s 6,261 voting members.
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