Academy Awards CEO Speaks Out on Oscars Diversity Problem

PHOTO: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO Dawn Hudson attends the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 7th annual Governors Awards, Nov. 14, 2015 in Hollywood, Calif. PlayKevin Winter/Getty Images
WATCH Academy President Responds to Oscars Diversity Controversy

Academy Awards CEO Dawn Hudson is the latest to speak out about the Oscars diversity problem.

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"I was devastated that the acting nominations were all white," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "There are a lot of artists of color who have put out really good work in more films than in other years. This feels like an inflection point, almost at a point of crisis. Everyone is talking about this. It's not going to be overnight — just the pace can go faster."

Hudson told the magazine that nearly 50 percent of their new hires in the last four years have been people of color, and the staff has worked closely with the Academy branches to identify artists of color for membership, resulting in more diverse classes than in previous years.

But she acknowledged that the entertainment industry itself has "hardly moved" in the last 25 years. "And it won't until there's a concerted effort on every single front: talent, the executives in the studios, the people we mentor," she said.

On Tuesday, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o added her voice to the growing chorus of stars speaking out about the lack of diversity among this year's Academy Award nominations.

The "12 Years a Slave" star, who's only the sixth black woman to win the Oscar for best supporting actress, posted a statement on Instagram.

While stopping short of saying she'll boycott the awards, Nyong'o wrote, "I stand with my peers who are calling for change in expanding the stories that are told and recognition of the people who tell them."

Nyong'o, 32, also included a quote from the writer James Baldwin: "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

Her comments follow those by fellow stars George Clooney, Don Cheadle and David Oyelowo, who have all weighed in on the lack of diversity among the nominees. For the second year in a row, all 20 acting nominees are white.

Meanwhile, Jada Pinkett Smith, Spike Lee and Michael Moore have announced they are boycotting this year's Oscars.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs released a statement Monday about the "lack of inclusion," saying that she is "heartbroken and frustrated."