April Reign, the originator of the transformative hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, is happy to have made history by starting a movement. However, she believes there’s a lot more work to be done in order to make Hollywood a truly diverse place.
Sure, the addition of Black Panther, Green Book and Blackkklansman may suggest a departure from the colorless crop of nominees we traditionally see at the Academy Awards, but Reign thinks we’ve only reached the tip of the iceberg. When asked by Variety if lack of racial diversity is still an issue in Hollywood, she answered, “Absolutely yes.”
“Until we are no longer having these conversations about firsts in 2019,” Reign continued. “Until we see everyone having the opportunity, whether it’s race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, indigenous people in this country. Until we all have an opportunity to see ourselves represented on screen, not just during awards season but all year long, I’ll still continue to talk about #OscarsSoWhite.”
Reign created the hashtag over four years ago, and this is her first time she will attend the ceremony. She spoke exclusively to The Hollywood Reporter about the invite.
“After creating the hashtag and working for almost five years to turn it into a movement that not only changed the Academy but made its way into so many other industries, I feel immense pride and a sense of coming full circle, back to the where it all began,” she told the publication. “The work continues, but I am thrilled to be able to celebrate the incremental progress that has been made, even if only for a night.”