Last night, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, took a few minutes on the stage of The Oscars to discuss how important diversity is in Hollywood in front of the millions who watched the live broadcast.
You can read her full speech below:
“Congratulations to all the nominees and Oscar winners; your work is the reason this was an amazing year in our industry.
Your artistry and skills are truly worthy of the Academy’s highest honor and as we reflect upon your work of the past year, tonight is also the time to talk about the future.
The Oscars celebrate the storytellers who have the opportunity to work in the powerful medium of film and with that opportunity comes responsibility. Our audiences are global and rich in diversity and every facet of our industry should be as well.
Everyone in the Hollywood community has a role to play in bringing about the vital changes the industry needs so that we can accurately reflect the world today.
The Academy board of governors recently took concrete action and sent a message that inclusion only serves to make us all stronger. And it’s important that the members of the Academy and everyone in this room help deliver that message. Each of you is an ambassador who can influence others in the industry; it’s not enough to just listen and agree – we must take action.
While change is often difficult, it is necessary. Dr Martin Luther King once said: ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’”
By 2020 Isaacs hopes to have doubled the Academy’s female and minority membership. This transition will not be easy; however, I admire the leadership of Cheryl Boone Isaacs as she begins to change the face of an 88 year old institution. There is clearly a problem that has been addressed over the past few months, and now that Hollywood’s dirty laundry has been aired, it’s time to fix these issues from the core. It won’t be an easy task; however, it is certainly needed, and I have full faith and confidence that Cheryl Boone Isaacs’ leadership will lead to substantial changes in Hollywood.