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Shonda Rhimes latest to address Oscar diversity issue at Producers Guild Awards

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Entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon has the latest on the diversity controversy surrounding the Oscars. (WABC)

Stars continue making headlines while speaking out about diversity in Hollywood over the recent Oscars backlash.

"Scandal" and "How to Get Away with Murder" producer Shonda Rhimes is joining the conversation, as host Chris Rock weighs in on the controversy.

It was another weekend and another awards show, which also meant another opportunity to ask about the lack of diversity in Hollywood. The Producers Guild honored both film and TV, and this year, Rimes was the recipient of the Norman Lear Achievement Award.

"Women are smart and strong," she said. "They are not sex toys or damsels in distress."

Rimes touched on the need to create diverse characters in entertainment that reflect reality.

"People of color are not sassy or dangerous or wise," she said. "And believe me, people of color are never anybody's sidekick in real life."

Her speech was part of an industry-wide conversation about inclusion after the Oscar nominations, which for the second year in a row only nominated white actors.

Last week, some industry figures announced they would skip the ceremony, including Will Smith and Spike Lee. On Friday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences responded with a specific plan to double the number of Oscar voters who are women and minorities by 2020, increase the diversity of the academy's board of governors and rules to ensure voters are active in the movie industry.

"These new measures will have an immediate impact," academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said, and Oscar nominee Matt Damon backed her up.

"This was a strong first step for Cheryl Boone Isaacs, I thought," he said. "She did something fast and bold, and that was what we needed."

Oscar producer Reginald Hudlin said that Chris Rock will still host, and that the comic told him he plans to address the lack of diversity in his opening monologue.
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