Oscars: Kerry Washington Explains Why She Is Presenting Amid Diversity Protests

"It's about making sure that our films, and the awards that we give for films, represent humanity."

In a year when the Oscars acting nominations lack diversity, Kerry Washington asserted that she is proud to be participating as a presenter.

"A lot of people have asked me why I'm here tonight, and the thing I'm thinking about is, if you look at the history of movements, the history of change, a lot of the voices are needed at the table," the star of ABC's Scandal told Robin Roberts on Sunday's red carpet. "I really respect and actually admire some of the people who are not here tonight, I really get it. But for me, I felt like my voice — in my heart — my voice is best used at the table."

She continued, "As a new member of the Academy — I joined the Academy about three years ago — I really want to be part of the conversation to make sure there's institutional change, so that we never have a year like this again, so that we can be as inclusive as possible."

Washington also noted that the film industry is "catching up" to the diversity on television, but should be more inclusive regarding not just racial diversity, but also regarding gender and age.

"We need all those voices at the table," the actress said. "It's about making sure that our films, and the awards that we give for films, represent humanity."

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