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Oscars president would 'love to see' greater diversity

CALLS FOR GREATER DIVERSITY: Cheryl Boone Isaacs

THE FIRST black president of the Oscars has vowed to address the lack of ethnic minority nominees in all categories at the annual ceremony.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who was appointed head of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts in 2013, said she is "committed to seeking out diversity of voice and opinion''.

“In the last two years, we've made greater strides than we ever have in the past toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization through admitting new members and more inclusive classes of members,” Boone Isaacs told the AP. “And, personally, I would love to see and look forward to see a greater cultural diversity among all our nominees in all of our categories.”

Her comments come after the annual ceremony faced a barrage of criticism over the non-nomination of Ava DuVernay, the director of Martin Luther King Jr. biopic, Selma, and lead actor, David Oyelowo.

After the nominees were announced, people mocked the make-up of the awards using the "OscarsSoWhite" hashtag.


IMPORTANT ROLE: UK actor David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma

Boone Isaacs declined to address whether she and the academy were embarrassed by the slate of mostly white Oscar nominees, instead insisting that she’s proud of the nominees, all of whom deserved recognition, the news site notes.

Besides best picture, Selma was nominated for original song—in what was widely considered to be a snub.

But Boone Isaacs urged fans not to to be distressed, saying: “It's nominated for the Oscar for best picture. It’s an award that showcases the talent of everyone involved in the production of the movie Selma,” the AP writes.

Individual branches of the Academy choose the nominees, with actors choosing the acting categories, for example.

The more than 7,000 members then vote for a winner.

Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel lead the race for this year's Oscars with nine nominations each.

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