Kerry Washington felt her presence at the Oscars is more effective than boycotting the ceremony alongside many of her colleagues who are taking part in the #OscarsSoWhite protest.
“If you look at the history of movements, the history of change, a lot of voices are needed at the table,” the “Scandal” and “Django Unchained” star told Robin Roberts during ABC’s pre-Oscar show on Sunday. “So I really respected, actually admired, some of the people who are not here tonight. I mean, I really get it. But for me, my voice is best used at the table.”
Washington, who said she joined The Academy just three years ago, continued, “I really want to be part of the conversation to make sure there’s institutional change, so that we never have a year like this again, so that we can be as inclusive as possible.”
The actress will be presenting one of the nominees for best picture. She was part of a group of diverse presenters announced after the nominations, of which all the acting nominees are white for the second year in a row.
Spike Lee, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, and other celebrities are sitting out this year’s Oscars in protest, and others like George Clooney have expressed their anger over the lack of nominees of colour.
In response, the Academy reiterated its intention to make diversity a priority, and is changing some rules to do so. And Rock reportedly went back to the drawing board to craft a show script that reflected the #OscarsSoWhite protests.