Os­cars boss prom­ises more di­ver­sity

Lesotho Times - - Entertainment -

LOS An­ge­les — Academy Pres­i­dent Ch­eryl Boone Isaacs is ‘‘heart­bro­ken and frus­trated’’ by the lack of di­ver­sity in this year’s Os­car nom­i­na­tions and has vowed to make ‘‘big changes’’.

The 66-year-old ex­ec­u­tive has spo­ken out fol­low­ing a back­lash over only white ac­tors and ac­tresses be­ing short­listed for next month’s cer­e­mony and has vowed to make ‘‘big changes’’ to en­sure things are dif­fer­ent next year.

She said in a state­ment: ‘‘I’d like to ac­knowl­edge the won­der­ful work of this year’s nom­i­nees. While we cel­e­brate their ex­tra­or­di­nary achieve­ments, 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.

The Academy is tak­ing dra­matic steps to al­ter the makeup of our mem­ber­ship.’’ Ch­eryl has pledged to ‘‘re­view’’ mem­ber­ship re­cruit­ment in or­der to bring about more di­ver­sity and change things for the bet­ter ‘‘more quickly’’.

She 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.

‘‘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.

‘‘This isn’t un­prece­dented for the Academy. In the ‘ 60s and ‘ 70s it was about re­cruit­ing younger mem­bers to stay vi­tal and rel­e­vant.

In 2016, the man­date is in­clu­sion in all of its facets: gen­der, race, eth­nic­ity and sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion.’’

Ch­eryl con­cluded her state­ment by thank­ing those who have drawn at­ten­tion to the is­sue. She said: ‘‘We recog­nise the very real con­cerns of our com­mu­nity, and I so ap­pre­ci­ate all of you who have reached out to me in our ef­fort to move for­ward to­gether.’’

Fol­low­ing the con­tro­ver­sial nom­i­na­tions list, both Jada Pin­kett Smith and Spike Lee have vowed not to at­tend this year’s Os­cars, while host Chris Rock quipped the cer­e­mony should also be known as ‘‘ the White BET Awards.’’

— Bangshow­biz

For­mer Miss Crown Royale, Tho­toane Mot­lomelo

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