'All I was trying to do is to address the issues of inequality of opportunity in the industry for women as well ... I never intended to underestimate anyone else's struggle'
Credit: C Flanigan/FilmMagic

Actress Julie Delpy has clarified statements she made Friday at the Sundance Film Festival about diversity in Hollywood, and how women have it harder than any group in the industry.

“I’m very sorry for how I expressed myself,” Delpy said in a statement released exclusively to EW on Saturday. “It was never meant to diminish the injustice done to African American artists or to any other people that struggle for equal opportunities and rights, on the contrary. All I was trying to do is to address the issues of inequality of opportunity in the industry for women as well (as I am a woman). I never intended to underestimate anyone else’s struggle! We should stay alert and united and support each other to change this unfair reality and don’t let anyone sabotage our common efforts by distorting the truth.”

Delpy added, “Again I’m so sorry for this unfortunate misunderstanding, people who know me, know very well that I can’t stand inequality and injustice of any kind.”

The two-time Oscar nominee’s original comments came during an interview with The Wrap at Sundance, in which she recalled speaking up about the makeup of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences 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.”

She 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 had characterized the Academy’s membership as “90 percent white men over 70 who need money because they haven’t done anything in a long time.”

Numerous celebrities have spoken out after this year’s Oscar nominations were announced, with every acting nominee being white for the second consecutive year. Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs on Friday announced “dramatic steps” being taken to increase diversity in the group’s membership.