It’s no secret that Hollywood has got a major problem with their diversity — or, rather, lack thereof. For evidence, you can simply look at this year’s Oscar nominations, which — for the second year in a row — didn’t include any actors or actresses of color, despite the fact that there were plenty who were deserving. And actor Matt Damon has got a lot to say about what needs to be changed.
In a statement this week, it was announced that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be increasing diversity within its membership, doubling its female and minority members by 2020. The organization will also be launching an “ambitious, global campaign to identify and recruit qualified new members who represent greater diversity.”
“The academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the current president of the Academy, said in the statement. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”
However, although this is an amazing first step, Matt Damon thinks that the movie business has a “long, long, long way to go” in addressing its diversity problem, he told the Associated Press.
Damon, who was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in The Martian, believes the Academy’s move was a “wonderful first step.” However, it’s important to note that this won’t fix the problem on its own. “That’s what it is,” he said. “A first step. . . We’re talking about huge systemic injustices around race and gender that are a lot bigger than the Oscars. They’re massive issues in our industry and in our country.”
Of course, Damon isn’t the only well-known star to comment on the overwhelmingly white nominees this year. The Oscars may even be boycotted by various big names in the business this year, including Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, comedian Chris Rock, and director Spike Lee. Will that first step from the Academy bring about a change in heart? Only time will tell.
(Image via 20th Century Fox.)