President Obama has added his voice to the growing debate over the lack of diversity among Academy Award nominees, saying the attention to the Oscars represents the "broader issue of are we making sure that everybody is getting a fair shot."
The president was asked Wednesday about the controversy, which has centered on the absence of African Americans among the best actor and actress awards, during an interview with KABC, a Los Angeles television affiliate. Some in the industry have called for a boycott of the awards show under the social media hashtag #oscarssowhite.
"I think that California is an example of the incredible diversity of this country. That's a strength," Obama said. "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."
Obama added 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."