The Oscars heard the outcries of Hollywood loud and clear.
After facing endless backlash surrounding the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominee pool, the people behind putting on the age-old ceremony have announced its first batch of presenters slated to hand out golden statues on Feb. 28.—and let's just say there is more than one skin tone represented.
The handpicked group of stars ranges in age, ethnicity, race and gender— a seemingly subtle response to the outrage of the industry's loudest critics. The third Puerto Rican winner in Oscar history, Benicio Del Toro, is scheduled to take the stage as well as 9-year-old Room breakout star Jacob Tremblay and first-time Oscar nominee Lady Gaga.
Comedians Tina Fey and Kevin Hart will also pop up in the ceremony while Sam Smith, Pharrell Williams and The Weeknd will represent their musical contemporaries as they recognize new winners throughout the night.
"Each of these artists brings a wonderfully distinctive element to the Oscars stage," producers David Hill and Reginald Huldin said in a statement. "Together they represent the many thrilling ways stories can be shared about the human experience, and we're honored they will be part of the celebration."
The announcement comes just a day after President Barack Obama finally weighed in on the buzzing controversy, urging the importance of diversity for the sake of a better craft and country.
"I think when everybody's story is told, then that makes for better art," Obama told reporters on Wednesday. "That makes for better entertainment. It makes everybody feel part of one American family. So 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."
In addition to this fresh batch of presenters, the Academy also announced a list of new changes, additions and limitations within the organization to diversify the group of voters for years to come as a result of the uproar.