John Legend Opens Up About Diversity in the Academy: "It's a Bigger Problem Than the Oscars Themselves"

“Glory” singer is promoting his latest projects at Sundance Film Festival

By Mike Vulpo Jan 24, 2016 1:44 AMTags
Watch: John Legend Weighs In on Oscars Boycott

John Legend is speaking out in regards to the lack of diversity amongst the 2016 Academy Awards.

While appearing at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend, E! News caught up with the Oscar winner who voiced his approval at the Academy's latest goal of doubling the number of women and diverse members by 2020.

"I don't really have a stand on the boycott right now. I do believe that the Academy made a good move yesterday in trying to diversify the ranks in the Academy," he told E! News' Zuri Hall at the Prewitt Gallery in Park City. "I just became a member of the Academy this year. This is my first year voting and I think it's important for the Academy to come closer to reflecting what the real population looks like."

With 2016 marking the second year of all-white Oscar nominations, some in Hollywood have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Academy. Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith have gone as far to say they will not be attending the annual telecast this February.

PHOTOS: Star sightings all over the Sundance Film Festival 

For John, he believes the problem with diversity doesn't just rest on the Academy's shoulders. Instead, it's much bigger than that.

"I don't think it's the Academy's responsibility solely because so much of the Academy is fed by who's working in the industry and if people aren't getting jobs in the industry, they can't be in the Academy because they aren't working," he explained. "It runs through Hollywood and it's a bigger problem than the Oscars themselves and a bigger issue than just the Academy's membership."

As the important discussion continues both in and out of Hollywood, John is also focusing on his upcoming projects that will take center stage at Sundance.

Jason Merritt/GC Images,

In addition to his WGN scripted drama Underground premiering this March, John is also supporting Southside With You where he serves as an Executive Producer.

The film chronicles the summer of 1989 when President Barack Obama wooed future wife and First Lady Michelle Obama on an unforgettable first date in Chicago. It debuts at Sundance this Sunday.

For more from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, watch E! News Monday night at 7 and 11 p.m. only on E!