WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that the controversy over this year's all-white Oscar acting nominations is part of a broader issue the country is grappling with.
No ethnic minority actors or actresses were nominated for the top Academy Awards for the second year running, sparking an outcry and prompting the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to announce reforms.
"I think that when everyone's story is told then that makes for better art," Mr Obama told regional television anchors.
"It makes for better entertainment, it makes everybody feel part of one American family," he said, according to an ABC affiliate.
"I think as a whole the industry should do what every other industry should do, which is to look for talent, provide opportunity to everybody.
"And I think the Oscar debate is really just an expression of this broader issue. Are we making sure that everybody is getting a fair shot?"