Danny DeVito Responds to Oscars Diversity Drama: 'The Entire Country Is a Racist Country'

01/24/2016 AT 04:15 PM EST



Danny DeVito has joined the chorus of celebrity voices speaking out about the lack of non-white actors among this year's Oscar nominees, telling the Associated Press that Americans are "a bunch of racists."

"It's unfortunate that the entire country is a racist country," DeVito, 71, told the AP at Sundance Film Festival on Saturday. "This is one example of the fact that even though some people have given great performances in movies they weren't even thought about."

The It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor is just the latest star to address what has been dubbed a "crisis" by the Academy. The organization instituted new guidelines on Friday in order to address the growing diversity controversy.



"We are living in a country that discriminates and has certain racist tendencies so sometimes it's manifested in things like this and it's illuminated," DeVito continued on Saturday. "But just generally speaking we're racists. We are a bunch of racists."

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Don Cheadle and Sam Neill were also interviewed alongside DeVito, and shared similar sentiments.

Cheadle, who previously told PEOPLE he's excited to see Chris Rock host the awards on Feb. 28, said he applauds the Academy's attempt to make changes.

"Again, this is dealing with the symptom, not starting at the root cause," Cheadle shared.

Neill added of the nominations, "I mean I'm baffled by it, I would have thought that Idris Elba and Sam Jackson would have been a shoo-in for a nomination."
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