Kevin Hart Acknowledges Actors of Color Who Were Not Nominated at Oscars: 'Let's Not Let This Issue of Diversity Beat Us'

"These problems of today will eventually become problems of the old," Kevin Hart said before introducing The Weeknd's performance

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty

Kevin Hart used his presenter duties to address the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

Before introducing The Weeknd’s performance, the comedian used his platform to acknowledge actors of color who were shut out of all the acting categories for the second year in a row.

“I just want to take a second to get something off my chest. First and foremost, I’m a positive guy I feed off of positive energy, I feel like positive overall beats negative,” said Hart, 36, who was dubbed “next year’s Oscars host” by master of ceremonies Chris Rock.

“With that being said, I want to applaud all of the actors and actresses of color that didn’t get nominated tonight. The reason why I say that is because I want them to understand that tonight should not determine the hard work and effort that you put into your craft,” Hart shared.

Adding, “At the end of the day we love what we do, we’re breaking major ground doing it. These problems of today will eventually become problems of the old. Let’s not let this negative issue of diversity beat us, let’s continue to do what we do best. With that being said, congratulations on an amazing year.”

Check out PEOPLE’s full Academy Awards 2016 coverage and complete winners list!

In January, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the changes that will be implemented to grow and diversify the voting panel.

Hart also took to Instagram to further emphasize his Oscars message.

For all things Oscars, click here to head over to PEOPLE’s Snapchat Discover, where we’re breaking down the best dresses of the nights, most meme-orable moments and everything in between.

“True professionals understand the importance of sticking together & supporting one another,” he wrote along with a photo of Rock and Dave Chappelle.

“At the end of the day we are comedians & there aren’t many that make it to level that we have made it. But so many doors are opened from the success of one comedian & when you see those doors open you then have the opportunity to walk thru them,” he said, adding, “It’s about helping one another not trying to tear each other down!!!! The insecure ones with never understand what ‘Support & encouragement mean.’ “

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