NEW YORK, NY – At last night’s Academy Awards, women and men in the entertainment industry spoke out about sexism, inequality, voting suppression, income disparity, Alzheimer’s and ALS awareness, the seriousness of mental illness and the need for immigration reform. Before the ceremony even started, many actors, including Reese Witherspoon, embraced the #AskHerMore campaign to stop sexism on the red carpet. While, actors like John Legend and Common spoke out about civil rights, director Alexandra Gonzalez Iñárritu about immigration and actor Patricia Arquette about economic justice and equal rights for women during their acceptance speeches.
Ms. Foundation for Women President and CEO Teresa C. Younger issued the following statement on inequality in the entertainment industry:
“We heard clear messages at the Academy Awards from passionate actors who could have used their 60 seconds any way they wanted. Actors came to the table last night to be activists while millions of viewers tuned-in. It is time for the entertainment industry to heed the call to increase diversity and inclusiveness of all people. You simply cannot have one voice that speaks on everything. What we saw last night was a chorus of many voices pushing for the inclusion of everyone.
“The film industry seems to be in a race to the bottom when it comes to diversity and equal opportunity. Fifteen categories did not include women as nominees. In addition, last night’s ceremony was the “whitest” this century; with all 20 acting nominee slots filled with white performers. Our movies and our awards reflect our nation. Hollywood is a microcosm of what women and people of color face in cities and towns across the United States. That is why we need to end inequality across the board, at every socioeconomic level and in every workplace.”
For more than 40 years, the Ms. Foundation for Women has secured women’s rights and freedoms with a special commitment to building the power of low-income, immigrant and women of color. The foundation invests funds, time, expertise and training in nearly 100 trailblazing organizations nationwide.