Obama Weighs in on Oscars Diversity Debate

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President Obama says the inclusion of people of color among Oscar contenders “makes for better art.”

In a recent interview, the president was asked to weigh in on the all-white Academy Awards ballot controversy, which in its second consecutive year of excluding minorities prompted a boycott from Hollywood’s biggest stars.

He calls the outrage an expression of a “broader issue” in America.

“I think that California is an example of the incredible diversity of this country. That’s a strength. I think that when everyone’s story is told then that makes for better art,” Obama tells KABC.

“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?”

Following the outrage expressed on Twitter and stars like Spike Lee, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Michael Moore bowing out of the Oscars ceremony after actors of color and their associated films were largely snubbed, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced historic, sweeping changes designed to “double the number of women and diverse members by 2020.”

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