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Chirlane McCray, NYC first lady, won’t boycott Oscars

New York City first lady Chirlane McCray on

New York City first lady Chirlane McCray on Feb. 17, 2016, at Skylight Modern. Credit: Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows / Jamie McCarthy

New York City’s first lady Chirlane McCray said Sunday she won’t be among those boycotting the Oscars for the Academy Awards’ lack of nominees of color, but acknowledged she believes the academy has “underappreciated minority populations and women of all ethnicities since day one.”

“My choice is to watch this year,” McCray wrote in a blog post on her flo.nyc website. “As I see it, the film industry does not consist of just power players, who are predominately white and male, but also hundreds of other workers from production assistants to grips, that help bring these movies to life.”

The industry is vital to the city’s economy, employing at least 130,000 people, she said.

McCray, who is black, wrote that there are means beyond boycotting that can empower minorities in the entertainment industry. One option is supporting a city-run training program that connects young people to jobs, internships and mentors to learn how to write, direct, act and more, she wrote.

The wife of Mayor Bill de Blasio said the Oscars serves as a reminder that “people of color don’t have the same opportunities in these fields as their white counterparts.”

She said she would give nods to contributions made by actors of color while watching the show.

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