Matt Damon Speaks Out On #OscarsSoWhite Controversy

He called the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominees "shameful and embarrassing."

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Matt Damon is the latest A-list star to comment publicly on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and the resulting boycott. While at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend, Damon spoke to reporters about the lack of diversity in this year's nominations.

"You know, it's shameful and embarrassing," Damon told Us Weekly. "That's two years in a row that there are no people of color nominated. That's insane."

Damon's performance in The Martian garnered him a nomination this year for Best Actor, one of many categories devoid of any non-white nominees. Change may be on the horizon, though, after the Board of Governors unveiled their plan to increase diversity within the Academy, ideally doubling minority membership by the year 2020.

"It's a strong first step but that is all that it is, it's a first step," Damon said of the announcement. "This is going to be a very long road. I was very happy that they did that."

Damon went on to add that there is "much, much, much more" work to be done when it comes to diversifying Hollywood.

"We're talking about huge systemic injustices around race and gender that are a lot bigger than the Oscars," he told The Associated Press. "They're massive issues in our industry and in our country."

Damon made headlines last year when he implied that the answer to getting more diversity on screen was to hire more people of color to be in movies, but not necessarily to work behind the scenes. His heated conversation with black female producer Effie Brown - which some described as "whitesplaining" - didn't win him any new fans, but it seems like he's come a long way since then.

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