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Obama Weighs In on #OscarsSoWhite Debate

President Barack Obama weighed in on the #OscarsSoWhite debate over the Academy Awards' two year trend of snubbing actors of color.
Image: Barack Obama
President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference at the White House on Dec. 18, 2015. Carolyn Kaster / AP file

The #OscarsSoWhite debate, which has been raging ever since the Academy Awards failed to nominate a single actor or actress of color for the second year in a row, has reached such a fever pitch that even President Barack Obama has been asked to weigh in.

The fallout from the nominations (or lack thereof) has led to calls for an Oscars boycott and the Academy’s decision to revise the process by which it invited members to join, imposing term limits while making concerted efforts to increase diversity.

During an interview with the KABC Los Angeles affiliate, the president said: “I think that California is an example of the incredible diversity of this country. That’s a strength. I think that when everybody’s story is told, then that makes for better art, it makes for better entertainment, it makes everybody feel part of one American family.”

RELATED: #OscarsSoWhite boycott earns support on Capitol Hill

Obama went on the suggest that “as a whole, the industry should do what every other industry should do, which is to look for talent, and provide opportunity to everybody. I think the Oscar debate is really just an expression of this broader issue of are we making sure that everybody is getting a fair shot.” Obama has enjoyed widespread support from within the Hollywood community during his two campaigns for the presidency and tenure in the White House. And first lady Michelle Obama famously announced the Best Picture Academy Award winner in 2013.