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01/26/2016 11:36 am ET

Filmmaker Adam McKay Says #OscarsSoWhite Complaints Are 'Legitimate'

The director and screenwriter's film "The Big Short" garnered five nominations.

Adam McKay had lots to celebrate when this year's Oscar nominations turned up five nods for his rollicking drama about the 2008 crash of the U.S. housing market, but even he agrees Hollywood's most prestigious awards should be recognizing more diversity. 

During a conversation with HuffPost Live on Monday, McKay said the #OscarsSoWhite controversy surrounding the absence of actors of color in this year's nominations is a "legitimate complaint" -- one that the movie industry should address immediately. 

"If any group on planet Earth should be able to deal with a protest like this, it should be filmmakers, so I support [the uproar]," he said. "I thought there were some really talented people this year that I would have loved to have seen nominated, and I think we're a group that should always be asking questions like that."

McKay said he firmly believes "more diversity is important," but he does think several films recognized by the Academy did manage to inject some social responsibility into the year in film, even if their characters' races were homogenous.

"At the same time, I think there were some great movies this year that do challenge entrenched authority and corrupt power, like 'Spotlight,' like ['The Big Short'] with banking," he said. "So I think there's some good stuff going on in Hollywood this year that we maybe haven't seen recently."

And yes, McKay is well aware that his all-white cast is among the films that don't exactly advance the cause of portraying "the widest range of voices that you can hear."

"The irony is we had to make a movie about Wall Street, which is mostly white men, so it was a little frustrating for us, but that's the truth of Wall Street. We had to do it," McKay said.

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