Academy President Tells Whoopi Goldberg the Organization Is Going 'From Conversation to Actual Action' on Diversity Issues

"We all want to take that opportunity to go from conversation to actual action," Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told Whoopi Goldberg

Photo: Rick Rowell/ABC

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has begun implementing change when it comes to issues of diversity.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs sat down with the The View’s Whoopi Goldberg on Friday, and reiterated the academy’s commitment to becoming a more inclusive body.

“Certainly, interviews like this are very helpful and the fact that the conversation is really alive right now,” Boone told Goldberg on the steps of the Dolby Theatre ahead of the 88th Academy Awards this Sunday.

“We all want to take that opportunity to go from conversation to actual action,” she continued. “We at the Academy have started with our concrete action of really looking at our organization and making sure that it’s inclusive.”

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The conversation began with the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominees, which for the second year in a row failed to include a single actor of color.

Amid the growing controversy and threats of boycotts, Isaacs released a statement in January, expressing her “disappointment” with the outcome. After acknowledging the “wonderful work” of the nominees, she added, “I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion.”

Goldberg addressed the issue herself on the The View last month, pointing out that the conversation should not be limited to awards season. “Why is this a conversation that we only have once a year,” she asked her co-hosts. “Every year we get all fired up and the rest of the year nobody says anything.”

Isaacs also stressed to Goldberg the role moviegoers can play in encouraging greater diversity onscreen. “What the moviegoer can do is support film and support film that has diversity of storytelling and you’re favorite actors,” she explained. “Get out there and support our filmmakers. That would be very, very wonderful.”

Regardless of the controversy, the Academy president – who is the first African-American to hold the position – said she could not be more excited for the show. “The excitement is really, really noticeable. You know, you can feel it in the air, as everybody ascends up these steps. It’s really very, very special.”

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