Oscar-winning actor and director Clint Eastwood weighed in on the race controversy surrounding the 88th Academy Awards on Friday night, where he brushed off a contention that the Academy institutionally snubs black performers.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced a series of sweeping new measures to increase diversity on Friday after coming under fire for nominating exclusively white performers in the top categories for a second straight year.
The measures will remove voting privileges from older Academy members and aggressively recruit new voting members “who represent greater diversity.”
Eastwood was asked about the controversy by a cameraman, to which he responded, “I don’t know anything about it. All I know is there’s thousands of people, and the majority of them haven’t won Oscars.”
The three-time Oscar winner and eight-time nominee added: “A lot of people are crying, I guess.”
Watch the video, via TMZ, below:
After facing pressure from a growing boycott of the Feb. 28 show and telecast, the Academy announced new diversity measures that include the addition of three new members to its 51-member Board of Governors. The group will also add new non-Board members to its executive and board committees in order to “allow new members an opportunity to become more active in Academy decision-making.”
Academy members will also now receive voting status for ten years, as opposed to their current lifetime voting rights status. The members’ ten-year terms will be renewed only if they are “active” in motion pictures within that decade, and members can achieve lifetime voting status after three consecutive ten-year terms have been completed.