The Academy Breaks Silence on 'Straight Outta Compton' Oscar Tickets Controversy: We Don't Do The Inviting!

Movie studios get tickets "to use at their discretion", Academy spokesperson tells PEOPLE

Photo: Jaimie Trueblood

The Academy has broken its silence over a report that the cast of Straight Outta Compton were not invited to this year’s ceremony, which fueled further uproar over the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

“The Academy invites the nominees only, and each studio gets a limited ticket allotment, based on the number of nominated films, to use at their discretion. It has been this way for decades,” an Academy spokesperson tells PEOPLE exclusively.

While the number of tickets a studio gets is dependent on how many nominees they have in a given year, Academy members themselves have to enter a lottery to score them.

This year, Universal Pictures – who distributed the movie – banked four Academy nominations including one for Straight Outta Compton‘s four writers, Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge and Alan Wenkus, who are white, for the movie’s screenplay.

It also received two for Steve Jobs in the acting categories, one for Fifty Shades of Grey in the original song category and a further four nods from its Focus Features unit for The Danish Girl.

For the second year in a row, no actors of color were nominated in the annual ceremony’s top acting categories, which has seen President Obama join the #OscarsSoWhite conversation.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced sweeping changes last week to make the Academy’s membership more diverse. In an emotional response after the nominations, Boone Isaacs said she was both “heartbroken and frustrated” at the lack of diversity represented in this year’s nominees.

“I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year’s nominees. While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion,” Boone Isaacs wrote. “This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership.”

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