Academy Award Winner Dame Helen Mirren (Trumbo, The Queen) has come to the defense of the Academy in the Oscars diversity debate.

“I think it’s unfair to attack the academy. It just so happens this year it went that way,” Mirren explained to England’s Channel 4 News.

But she did add that “Idris Elba absolutely would have been nominated for an Oscar. He wasn’t because not enough people saw or wanted to see a film about child soldiers,” speaking of Elba’s role in Beasts of No Nation.

When told that it seemed that she seemed to be excusing the lack of diversity in the Oscars this year Mirren responded, “No, I’m saying that the issue we need to be looking at,” she continued, “is what happens before the film gets to the Oscars: what kind of films are made, and the way in which they are cast, and the scripts.” Other voices, including Emmy-Award winning Viola Davis, have agreed with her perspective.

The Academy plans to double the number of women and diverse members by 2020.

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