Oscars head acts over lack of nominees’ diversity

Oscars head Cheryl Boone Isaacs is taking action to “alter the make-up” of their membership, after Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith’s refusal to attend because of the mostly white nominees.

Boone Isaacs praised the “wonderful work” of the nominees but said she was “heartbroken” at the lack of diversity.

Lee said on Instagram he “cannot support” the “lily white” awards show.

Jada Pinkett Smith said in a video message on Facebook that she would not be attending the awards ceremony.

Boone Isaacs added that “dramatic steps” were being taken, saying: “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.”

The 6,300 members, made up of people from the film industry, vote on who is nominated for the Oscars each year.

“This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes,” she said.

“As many of you know, we have implemented changes to diversify our membership in the last four years. but the change is not coming as fast as we would like. We need to do more, and better and more quickly.”

She said such a move was not “unprecedented” for the Academy, and that in the 60s and 70s younger members were recruited and that today’s mandate was about inclusion: “gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation”.

Credit: BBC