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Creator of #OscarsSoWhite to attend her first Academy Awards
The creator of the "OscarsSoWhite" hashtag says she's accepted an invitation to attend her first Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday.
"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," April Reign told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.
Reign's hashtag began trending on social media in 2016, after no black actors were nominated in the four acting categories for the second straight year in a row.
Then-Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement at the time that she was "heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion." Boone called for "big changes" in the makeup of members who voted for the Oscars.
This year, Spike Lee received the first "Best Director" and "Best Picture" Oscar nominations of his decades-long career for his film "BlacKkKlansman." Lee is the sixth black filmmaker to be nominated in the directing category.
"I'm going to give myself permission to think that the work that I and many who believe in issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion have done is having an impact," Reign told the entertainment industry publication.
"Seeing Spike nominated is a very public validation of that work," Reign, who was invited by the Academy to attend the upcoming awards show, said. "Nevertheless, the daily work of [#OscarsSoWhite] is for all marginalized people, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, age, or disability, to have opportunities they didn't before."
The 91st annual Academy Awards airs Sunday on ABC.