New Academy Member Kerry Washington on 2016 Oscars Protests: 'I Respect and Admire the People Who Aren't Here'

02/28/2016 AT 08:30 PM EST



Kerry Washington is thinking about those who chose to boycott this year's Academy Awards.

The Scandal star, who will be presenting, shared her opinions on the lack of diversity among the 2016 Oscar nominations.

"I respect and admire the people who aren't here," Washington, 39, said on the red carpet. "For me, my voice is best used at the table. As a new member of the Academy, I really want to be a part of the conversation so there is institutional change so we never have this again."



New Academy Member Kerry Washington on 2016 Oscars Protests: 'I Respect and Admire the People Who Aren't Here'| Academy Awards, Oscars 2016, Diversity in Entertainment, Scandal, Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington

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Added the actress, "We need all those voices at the table. It's about women, people of color, it's about age."

Check out PEOPLE's full Academy Awards 2016 coverage and complete winners list!

For the second year in a row, actors of color were shut out of the nominations.

The Academy has set new rules to make its "membership, its governing bodies and its voting members significantly more diverse."

Many A-list stars have contributed to the conversation about the lack of diversity including George Clooney, O'Shea Jackson Jr., David Oyelowo, Ava DuVernay, Al Sharpton and Idris Elba.

For all things Oscars, click here to head over to PEOPLE's Snapchat Discover, where we're breaking down the best dresses of the nights, most meme-orable moments and everything in between.

Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith are all skipping the Oscars ceremony this year.

Meanwhile, Whoopi Goldberg blasted the idea of boycotting the awards. After offering to boycott, Sylvester Stallone arrived at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday.
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