Lena Dunham: Oscars diversity response ‘a call to action for our industry to change’
“Being at Sundance on the narrative jury with some really smart folks, watching a wide range of films with a wide range of perspectives, is a reminder of how necessary diverse representation truly is,” the Girls creator and star wrote on Instagram. “The conversation happening around the Oscars is essential and overdue.”
She continued, “It is not disrespectful to the current nominees. It is not an indictment of any one actor. It is a call to action for our industry to change the way we work on every single level. As someone who has been on the receiving end of criticism about diversity, the only thing I know for sure is that our job is to listen- not to defend ourselves. What’s to defend?”
Celebrities like Spike Lee, Selma director Ava Duvernay, Reese Witherspoon, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Straight Outta Compton producer Will Packer also responded to the lack of diversity among the nominees.
In light of the backlash, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced plans to change its membership rules with the intent to double its number of women and minorities by 2020.
“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” Isaacs said in part. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”