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Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs 'Heartbroken' Over Lack of Diversity Among Oscar Nominees

by Zach Seemayer 8:59 PM PST, January 18, 2016
Playing Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs 'Heartbroken' Over Lack of Diversity Among Oscar Nominees

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs says she's "heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion" at this year's Academy Awards.

Isaacs issued a public statement addressing the controversy surrounding the lack of diversity among the actors nominated at the upcoming Oscars, where she stressed, "This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes."

WATCH: The Oscars Nominate All White Actors for Second Year in a Row

"The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership," Isaacs said, sharing the Academy's plan to foster diversity in the future. "In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond."

While the Academy has already "implemented changes to diversify" their membership in recent years, Isaacs said, "Change is not coming as fast as we would like. We need to do more, and better and more quickly."

WATCH: Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee to Skip the 2016 Oscars: ‘We Cannot Support It’

"In 2016, the mandate is inclusion in all of its facets: gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation," she added, explaining that efforts to expand the makeup of the organization's membership was not "unprecedented for the Academy."

"We recognize the very real concerns of our community, and I so appreciate all of you who have reached out to me in our effort to move forward together," concluded Isaacs, who was elected as AMPAS president in 2013 and is the first African American to hold the office.

WATCH: David Oyelowo on Oscars' Lack of Diversity: 'We’re Just Going to Keep Plugging Away'

The statement comes on the heels of a statement made by actress Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee, who announced that they would not be attending this year's Oscar ceremony, and encouraged people of color to "refrain from participating all together."

For more on the outrage sparked by this year's Oscar nominations, check out the video below.

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