2016 Academy Awards: Gladiator Kerry Washington Talks Changing Academy’s Diversity Issue ‘From the Inside’

at 8:36 pm | By

Kerry Washington proved yet again that she was literally a Gladiator while on the Oscars red carpet tonight (Feb. 28).

The Scandal actress, who is presenting at tonight’s awards show, spoke to ABC’s Robin Roberts about the Academy’s lack of diversity.

Washington explained why she chose to attend:

A lot of people have asked me why I’m here tonight, and the thing I’m thinking about is, if you look at the history of movements, the history of change, a lot of the voices are needed at the table. I really respect and actually admire some of the people who are not here tonight, I really get it, but for me, I felt like my voice — in my heart — my voice is best used at the table.

The actress, who joined the Academy three years ago, added, “As a new member of the Academy, I want to make sure that there’s institutional change to make sure that we never have a year like this year again — that we’re as inclusive as possible.”

She also asserted that the film industry is “catching up” in regards to diversity on television, and that diversity must also include not only race but gender and age.

“We need all those voices at the table. It’s about making sure that our films, and the awards that we give for films, represent humanity.”


Earlier today, she tweeted her support for Selma director Ava Duvernay, who thanked her for her financial contributions for #JusticForFlint:

Check out the gallery above to see Kerry Washington’s red carpet look.