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Congressman Calls Lack of Oscar Diversity ‘Troubling’ (Listen)

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said that the lack of diversity among this year’s Oscar acting nominees is “troubling” because “for a lot of Americans it doesn’t reflect what we see in our daily lives.”

On Thursday, the caucus said that it would be conducting a series of roundtables on diversity in various industries, including entertainment, in the coming months.

All of this year’s nominees in the acting categories are white.

“I think it is troubling, not only for me and the Hispanic caucus, but for a lot of Americans, because it doesn’t reflect what we see in our daily lives,” Castro told Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM. “The country is incredibly diverse right now and growing even more diverse. Yet that is not reflected on screen or even behind the camera. We want to do what we can to try to change that, and work with the industry to try to change it.”

Castro did note that Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was nominated for “The Revenant,” but said that the overall lack of diversity among this year’s nominees list was “symptomatic of something greater.”

“Most people don’t know somebody who went off to Hollywood, to become a successful actor, to become a successful director, so some of it is a matter of seeing a trail that leads to that kind of success,” Castro said. “They also sit there and oftentimes don’t see themselves reflected on the screen, really in any kind of positive way… Latinos are not only in the service industry or are housekeepers, as my grandmother was. These are people who are living full lives in all kinds of jobs and professions, and that is just not represented in Hollywood.”

Listen below:

More of the interview here.

“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety’s Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also is available on demand.

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