By Max Godnick

Hollywood has come a long way in the two years since the #OscarsSoWhite controversy which sparked outrage after the Academy failed to nominate a single actor of color two years in a row.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the governing body behind Hollywood's top movie honors, recently invited a record 928 new members to join its ranks in an effort to radically increase its diversity.

"Moonlight," the coming-of-age drama about life as a gay black man in Miami, shocked the entertainment world when it won Best Picture in 2016, a year that also saw Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis take home two of the top acting awards.

On top of that, "Black Panther" is now the ninth highest-grossing movie of all time, "Girls Trip" and "Get Out" changed industry conceptions about what Hollywood blockbusters can look like, and the #MeToo and Time's Up movements ignited a national conversation on gender equality in Hollywood.

But, despite the considerable progress, film and television still have a long way to go towards fully embracing diversity and inclusion.

Cheddar asked some of the industry's top creators, storytellers, and leaders at the American Black Film Festival in Miami about what meaningful actions they think show business can take toward increasing representation both on screen and off.

Here's what they said:

  • Sherri Shepherd (Actor, NBC's "Trial & Error"): "I think Hollywood execs have to go outside their comfort zones. I think, you know, it's very easy to do a show like 'Girls' and go with what you know, but you have to look outside of yourself and say what is the fabric of America?"

  • Essence Atkins (Actor, NBC's "Marlon"): "The people in positions, again, to offer and hire, if those people's lives are diverse, then they're going to have a much richer experience and their perspective is going to be much more diverse as well."

  • Dennis Williams (Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Corporate Affairs, HBO): "We have to continue to challenge ourselves to be better and better. It's not ever a case where we can rest on our past successes. We have to keep looking for the next one, we have to keep finding the next great storyteller, and understanding that those voices will come from a myriad of places."

  • Chaley Rose (Actor, TVOne's "Dinner for Two"): "I think the more we talk about it and the less we act like these things aren't happening, the more you go, 'Yeah, that is crazy.'"

  • Huriyyah Muhammad (Founder, Black TV & Film Collective): "There's power in numbers, and just building a community. There's a lot that we can do as a community to push and advance equity and inclusion as well."

  • Ryan Destiny (Actor, FOX's "Star"): "I don't think it's rocket science. I don't think that it's something that really has to be just really planned out. I just think it's simply like thinking of these people during writing processes and, you know, just really just switching up what is the norm."

  • Jay Ellis (Actor and Celebrity Ambassador, American Black Film Festival): "If we're all going to grow and if we're going to make the best thing possible then it can't come from a bunch of the exact same POV and yes-men. We have to constantly challenge it with different voices to make it the best thing that it can possibly be."

  • LeToya Luckett (Actor, TVOne's "Down for Whatever"): "Go into these neighborhoods, go into the South Side of Chicago, you know, go where stuff is happening and people's lives are just being affected by craziness every day."

  • Diallo Riddle (Actor, NBC's "Marlon"): "I think what would be great is if there are people who give those same black or Latino or whatever writers the chance to do, like, science fiction. They always say, 'Oh tell your story, tell your truth.' Well, George Lucas didn't fly spaceships."