The film industry is currently mired in a controversy over diversity, following another year where people of color are underrepresented in the Academy Awards nominees. Now, it’s gotten to the point that President Obama has added to the discussion, joining the chorus of voices calling for Hollywood to be more inclusive.
Speaking to local news network anchors, Obama said that the entertainment industry could only be improved by giving attention to those it’s previously ignored, saying “I think that when everyone’s story is told then that makes for better art.”
Obama continued, adding that the fact that there were no acting nominees of color across four categories for a second year in a row was a symptom of a larger problem.
“It makes for better entertainment it makes everybody feel part of one American family, so I think as a whole the industry should do what every other industry should do which is to look for talent, provide opportunity to everybody. And I think the Oscar debate is really just an expression of this broader issue. Are we making sure that everybody is getting a fair shot?”
The organization that runs the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, has already pledged to double the number of women and minority members over the next several years, but perhaps President Obama’s words will inspire even more changes, and America’s biggest awards show will start to more accurately reflect America.