‘Empire’ Star Malik Yoba Checks Oscar Outrage: Hollywood Inclusion Isn’t a ‘Birthright’

attends the Thurgood Marshall College Fund 27th Annual Awards Gala at the Washington Hilton on November 16, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Joining Straight Out Compton producer Ice Cube, who called the “Oscars So White” Academy Awards controversy “ridiculous,” is actor Malik Yoba–who told his fans via Instagram that “being included” in Hollywood “is not a given.”

“From atheist to believers one thing is certain, everybody wants to feel loved, honored, included, acknowledged and feel the support of their peers,” Yoba wrote. “Working in a business that doesn’t always see the big picture is a challenge but being included is not a given or a birthright.”

Yoba’s comments come just as the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) promised to promote a series of new measures to increase diversity.

“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” wrote AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs in response to a boycott and backlash to a second consecutive year of announcing all white Oscar nominees. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”

“All we can do as individuals is continue to honor our gifts and work toward building our own pathways to get our stories out to the masses,” Yoba added. “None of this is easy and every little bit counts including the protestations.”

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson.