Matt Damon is the latest Hollywood titan to weigh in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. While attending the Sundance Film Festival, the Academy Award-winning actor told the Associated Press that Hollywood still has a "long, long, long way to go" when it comes to diversifying the film business.
Damon, who's nominated for Best Actor for his role in The Martian, also said the issues present at the Oscars mirror larger societal issues.
"We're talking about huge systemic injustices around race and gender that are a lot bigger than the Oscars," he explained. "They're massive issues in our industry and in our country."
Many of the Good Will Hunting star's peers agree. Jada Pinkett-Smith, Will Smith, and Spike Lee have all said they won't be attending the ceremony after the Oscars nominated all white actors for top awards, like Best Supporting Actor/Actress. Viola Davis mirrored Damon's statements in her response to the controversy.
The Emmy-winning actress told Entertainment Tonight that "the problem is not with the Oscars, the problem is with the Hollywood movie-making system."
The two-time Oscar nominee said Hollywood isn't offering enough quality roles to black actors. When asked if Chris Rock should still host the Oscars, Davis said, "Like I said, the Oscars are not really the issue. It's a symptom of a much greater disease. But if he does, I hope he takes it as an opportunity to make a statement, a social statement about change. It's 2016."
Damon's support of #OscarsSoWhite comes mere months after he came under fire for attempting to mansplain diversity to producer Effie Brown on Project Greenlight. In the viral clip, the Bourne Identity actor said diversity is "best addressed in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show."
He later apologized and claimed that his comments were taken out of context. Maybe he'll hire more people of color in films he produces. That will be a viable first step toward having more diversity in Hollywood.