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Academy President Is 'Heartbroken' by 'Lack of Inclusion' in Oscar Nominees

Cheryl Boone Isaacs

Cheryl Boone Isaacs said the Academy will recruit more members to reflect a greater diversity of 'gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.'

The president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is not happy with the lack of diversity in the 2016 Oscar nominees.

In a statement posted to social media on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African-American to helm the Academy, said she was in fact "heartbroken and frustrated by the lack of inclusion."

The statement comes in the wake of a backlash against the Academy after last week's announcement of its list of 2016 nominations. For the second year in a row, all of the actors nominated have been white, prompting the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag to trend on Twitter. Many also criticized the Academy for snubbing LGBT films and artists.

In response, Boone said the Academy would be "taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership." She noted such a move is not unprecedented. In the 1960s and 70s, younger members were recruited "to stay viral and relevant."

"In 2016, the mandate is inclusion in all of its facets: gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation," she stated.

In 2012, the Los Angeles Times reported that Oscar voters are around 94 percent white and 77 percent male. While the Academy has made efforts in recent years to diversify its membership, Boones concluded that "the change is not coming as fast as we would like."

Read the full statement below.

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