Speaking at the opening day press conference for the Sundance Film Festival 2016 the founder weighed in on the hot topic of the day.

Robert Redford

After initially telling reporters he did not want to talk about Oscars when asked for his views on the all-white acting nominees roster this year, Redford reconsidered and gave an elliptical reply.

“Diversity comes out of the word independence,” he said. “It’s a word I operate from principally for most of my life. Diversity comes out of it. It’s an automatic thing. If you’re independent-minded, you’re going to do things differently than the common form.”

Redford went on to say the festival did not play an advocacy role, echoing a sentiment known to be held by festival director John Cooper.

Spike Lee, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have all said they will not attend the 88th annual Academy Awards on February 28 after a number of worthy contenders were excluded from nominations last week.

This is the second time in two years that ostensibly deserving acting performances by non-white actors have been overlooked.