“I think the problem is slowly getting solved but nowhere near fast enough,” Abrams told E! News.
“I think we have to choose from a pool that’s representative of the country we live in. I think studios need to step up and be aware of the need to make films, not just having actors that represent the population but writers, directors and crew members that do,” he continued.
Abrams added that diversity isn’t just good for the industry, but for the box office too.
“I think it’s good business,” Abrams added. “I think the movies will get better, the stories will get stronger and audiences will respond bigger and that’s good for the bottom line.”
Abrams is no stranger to the diversity conversation. The self-described lifelong “Star Wars” fan received push back online when a 2014 “The Force Awakens” trailer showed that Abrams, 49, had cast black British actor John Boyega as a Stormtrooper named Finn.
Abrams weighed in on Hollywood’s hot topic days before the 88th Academy Awards, airing Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.
Many can’t wait to see how host Chris Rock will address the issue. The comedian, who previously hosted the awards show in 2005, has been tight-lipped about his plans for this year, but Abrams may have a clue. He was spotted with Rock, 51, and Kristin Wiig in a photo the comedian posted on his Instagram page Monday. The caption read: “Almost showtime.”
A photo posted by Chris Rock (@chrisrock) on Feb 22, 2016 at 4:30pm PST
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is produced by Lucasfilm, a subsidiary of Disney, which is the parent company of ABC News.