Many celebrities decided not to attend this year’s Academy Awards to make a statement about the lack of inclusiveness for people of color; however, Kerry Washington walked the red carpet beautifully and proudly attended the ceremony.

On the red carpet before the ceremony, the Scandal star was asked by Robin Roberts why she didn’t join Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Spike Lee and others in sitting out this year’s show. Washington stated that her “voice is best used at the table.”

“A lot of people have asked me why I’m here tonight and the thing I’ve been thinking about is, if you look at the history of movements, the history of change, a lot of voices are needed at the table,” Washington, who is presenting at the Oscars, told Robin Roberts during ABC’s pre-show. “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. As a new member of the academy, I want 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.” – Kerry Washington

She went on to say that actors of color aren’t the only ones who should benefit from the changes Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announces earlier in January.

“It’s about women, it’s about people of color, and it’s about age. It’s about making sure that our films and the awards we give for films represent humanity.” – Kerry Washington



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