'I sometimes wish I were African-American,' the actress says
Credit: Pierre Suu/WireImage

Much of the heated discussion about the lack of diversity in Hollywood — as typified by the backlash against this year’s homogeneous class of Oscar nominees — has focused on the underrepresentation of nonwhite actors and filmmakers.

Two-time Oscar nominee Julie Delpy, meanwhile, has called attention to the challenges women face in the entertainment industry. In an interview with the Wrap at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, the French-American actress and filmmaker recalled speaking up about the makeup of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences back in 2014.

“Two years ago, I said something about the Academy being very white male, which is the reality, and I was slashed to pieces by the media,” she said. “It’s funny — women can’t talk. I sometimes wish I were African-American, because people don’t bash them afterward.”

Delpy added, “It’s the hardest to be a woman. Feminists is something people hate above all. Nothing worse than being a woman in this business. I really believe that.”

Two years ago, Delpy characterized the academy membership as “90 percent white men over 70 who need money because they haven’t done anything in a long time.”

The Academy does not disclose demographic information about its ranks, but a 2012 study by the Los Angeles Times found the academy to be 94 percent Caucasian and 77 percent male, with a median age of 62.

Delpy’s comments came the same day the academy announced sweeping changes to double its numbers of women and minorities by 2020.

EW has reached out to a representative for Delpy to see if she has any further comment.