Oscar-nominated actor Matt Damon has spoken out about the controversy surrounding the Academy Awards and its lack of diversity among nominated actors and actresses.
“You know, it’s shameful and embarrassing. There’s two years in a row that there are no people of color nominated. That’s insane,” he told US Weekly.
“We’re talking about huge systemic injustices around race and gender that are a lot bigger than the Oscars,” Damon said. “They’re massive issues in our industry and in our country.”
This year’s Oscar nominations, which feature all-white actors for Best Actor, Best Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress, sparked controversy and has led to protests and boycotts.
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee have announced they will boycott the ceremony.
— People Magazine (@people) January 24, 2016
Matt Damon was nominated for Best Actor for his role in The Martian.
Earlier this week, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a goal to double its women and minority members by 2020.
“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”
Damon thinks this is a good first step, but the Academy has to do “much, much, much more.”