At the 88th Academy Awards show in 2016, host Chris Rock made headlines with his scathing monologue calling out Hollywood for its lack of diversity. The topic of diversity in Hollywood continued to make headlines in 2018, when Rock released a Netflix special titled “Tamborine,” which also included commentary on the lack of diversity in the entertainment industry. Recently, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, David Rubin, spoke out about Rock’s commentary in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Rubin, who took over the role of Academy president in July 2019, said that while he appreciated Rock’s passion and commitment to discussing diversity in Hollywood, he did not agree with all of the comedian’s criticisms. He specifically took issue with the fact that Rock seemed to imply that the Academy Awards show was solely responsible for the lack of diversity in the film industry.

“The Academy Awards are just one small piece of the puzzle when it comes to the larger issue of the lack of diversity in the film industry,” Rubin said. “There are many factors at play here, including the hiring practices of studios and production companies, the way films are marketed, and the types of stories that get greenlit in the first place.”

Rubin went on to say that the Academy was taking steps to address these issues, including increasing the number of women and people of color in its membership ranks and pledging to encourage more diverse storytelling in Hollywood.

“We understand that we have a vital role to play in promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry,” Rubin said. “We are committed to doing everything we can to create a more equitable and inclusive Hollywood.”

Rubin’s comments were met with mixed reactions from the entertainment community. Some praised him for acknowledging the role the Academy could play in promoting diversity, while others called his response insufficient.

“David Rubin is right that the lack of diversity in Hollywood is a much larger issue than just the Academy Awards show,” said Stephanie Allain, a veteran film producer and board member of the Academy. “But the Academy can still do more to promote diversity by pushing for change within the industry and using their platform to spotlight diverse voices.”

Others were more critical of Rubin’s response, accusing him of not doing enough to address the lack of diversity within the Academy itself.

“The Academy still has a long way to go when it comes to promoting diversity within its own membership ranks,” said April Reign, a diversity advocate and creator of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag. “Until they can get their own house in order, it’s hard to take their pledges to promote diversity in Hollywood seriously.”

Despite the mixed reactions to Rubin’s comments, there is no denying that the issue of diversity in Hollywood continues to be a hot topic within the industry. In recent years, several high-profile controversies have put a spotlight on the issue, including the #OscarsSoWhite movement and the backlash against the lack of female representation at the Cannes Film Festival. While there have been some strides made in terms of promoting diversity and inclusion within the industry, many activists and advocates continue to push for more change.

As for Chris Rock, he has continued to be a vocal advocate for diversity in Hollywood. In his “Tamborine” special, he called out Hollywood for its historical mistreatment of black actors and for failing to give them the same opportunities as their white counterparts. He also spoke about the need for Hollywood to do more to support black filmmakers and storytellers.

“Black people need representation,” he said. “Black people need culture. We need cultural heroes. And they don’t have to be athletes or musicians. They can be anybody. They can be scientists, doctors. They can be filmmakers. Just somebody that can tell our story.”

It remains to be seen what further steps the Academy and other industry organizations will take to promote diversity and inclusion in Hollywood. But as long as the issue continues to be at the forefront of our cultural conversation, there remains hope that change is possible.