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EXCLUSIVE: AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs On Plans to Increase Diversity After #OscarsSoWhite Backlash

by Zach Seemayer 6:18 PM PST, January 24, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs On Plans to Increase Diversity After #OscarsSoWhite Backlash

Changes to promote and increase diversity among members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are now underway, and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, says the new measures are "a step in the right direction."

Isaacs spoke with ET's Nischelle Turner at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday to discuss the Academy's plans for a more culturally integrated and representative membership, and what those plans entail.

WATCH: Academy Announces 'Historic' Changes to Increase Diversity Following #OscarsSoWhite Boycott

"It means more inclusion. It means inviting in women, non-whites, more diverse group of filmmakers, international, young," Isaacs explained. "All that meet the criteria of the Academy."

After this year's Oscar nominations drew fire for a lack of diversity, Isaacs said that she was "heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion" among the nominees this year, and that it is "time for big changes."

Isaacs, who was elected as AMPAS president in 2013, is the first African American to hold the office.

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

Isaacs admitted to ET that she predicted the controversy was going to be a big story, but she had no idea how massive the backlash, which has included a subsequent call for an Oscars boycott from a number of high-profile celebrities.

"I knew it would be a story obviously, but wow!" Isaacs said. "It's kind of like if you have a hit movie, but you don't really know how big the box office is going to be."

Several actors, including Jada Pinkett Smith, husband Will Smith and director Spike Lee, have called for a more diverse pool of Oscar nominees. Some have even said they would be not attend the show, and have encouraged others to follow suit.

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

However, when asked if she had been in contact with Pinkett Smith or Lee since the two vocalized their concerns, Isaacs said, "I'm going to keep that secret."

Despite the boycotts, criticism and protests, comedian Chris Rock has said that he would not be dropping out as host of this year's Oscars. According to Academy Awards producer Reginald Hudlin, who spoke with ET on Saturday, Rock is "throwing out the show" he had written before, and working on a whole new script that will address the controversy head on.

WATCH: Chris Rock Not Dropping Out Of Oscars, Rewriting Monologue to Address #OscarsSoWhite Outrage

Isaacs said she was looking forward to Rock's new routine, adding, "That's why he was hired."

"It's gonna be fun," Isaacs said. "It's gonna be entertaining."

For more on Rock retooling his jokes for the 2016 Academy Awards, check out the video below.

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