- Associated Press - Thursday, February 24, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Whoopi Goldberg said Wednesday that the lack of black nominees in major categories of this year’s Academy Awards doesn’t reflect a trend in the film industry.

Speaking after hosting the opening of an exhibit of Oscar statues inside New York’s Grand Central Terminal, Goldberg underscored that five black actors have won Academy Awards since 2002.

“I don’t know how it gets better,” she said after posing for pictures. “I think we’re all right.”

Goldberg recently said on her show “The View” that she was upset about an article in The New York Times citing the lack of black nominees this year because it didn’t mention her supporting actress Oscar for 1990’s “Ghost.”

The Times said she misread the story and that it was not meant to be a comprehensive list of all actors who had won Oscars. Goldberg later apologized for calling the reporting sloppy.

She tried to clarify her comments about the story Wednesday, saying it was inaccurate to think there’s “something wrong” with the way blacks are represented at the Oscars. She said strides have been made since 1939 when Hattie McDaniel won for best supporting actress, becoming the first black awarded an Oscar.

“This idea that there’s something wrong, something missing, seemed very inaccurate to me. And it was,” she said. “And there are a lot of people in that small little world of black Oscar folks. And, yeah. If you’re going to talk about it, then talk about it. Don’t sort of talk around it. That was my point.”

Goldberg was chosen to host the opening of the Oscars exhibit at Grand Central Terminal “a couple weeks ago,” said Patrick Harrison, a spokesman for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, which puts on the Academy Awards each year.

He said her appearance was not linked to the controversy stirred up by her comments about the Times article. “That came after we had asked her to participate in this event,” he said.

Harrison said she was chosen because she was a two-time Academy Award nominee, had hosted the awards show four times and was “very much” a New Yorker.

The exhibit will be open through Sunday, ending before the Oscars begin.

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