Laurence Fishburne thinks diversity in Hollywood has improved, despite the #OscarsSoWhite backlash to this year’s Academy Awards nominees.
“It’s gotten better,” Fishburne told Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” Tuesday night. “We still have a lot of work to do but it’s gotten better.”
Fishburne, the “Matrix” star who currently plays Pops on ABC’s “black-ish,” called the reaction to the Academy’s all-white acting nominees “a very, very complicated thing.”
“Personally, I just can’t wait to see how Chris Rock handles it as the host of the Oscars,” the former Oscar nominee said.
Director Spike Lee announced that he would not attend what he called the “lily-white Oscars.” Lee received an honorary Oscar from the Academy in November, and had been expected to appear on stage at next month’s ceremony.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, also an African American, issued a statement on Martin Luther King Day promising changes within the group.
“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,” Isaacs said.
The Academy hopes that by improving diversity in its own ranks, it can avoid the sort of embarrassment that it has suffered since it announced an all-white lineup of acting Oscar nominees for the second year in a row earlier this month.