Academy President, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who in the past couple of years have had to deal with the #OscarsSoWhite backlash, this year welcomed diversity to the Oscar Nominees Luncheon held on yesterday at the Beverly Hilton. In her welcoming speech Isaacs with strong words, spoke out against Donald Trump’s travel ban without even mentioning his name. ”This is a global community filled with storytellers domestic and international, one that is becoming more inclusive and diverse with each passing day,” she told the crowd.
”When we expand our membership, when we reach out to be inclusive, we set a shining example,” she said. “When our storytellers tackle issues of importance from religious intolerance to racism to sexism, when we bring to the screen stories from around the world, we become agents of change. And when we speak out against those who try to put up barriers, we reinforce this important truth, that all artists around the world are connected by a powerful bond, one that speaks to our creativity and common humanity. Each and every one of us knows there are some empty chairs in this room, which has made Academy artists activists. There is a struggle globally today over artistic freedom that feels more urgent than any time since the 1950s. Art has no borders, art has no language and doesn’t belong to a single faith. The power of art is that it transcends all these things, and strong societies don’t censor art, they celebrate it. America should always be not a barrier, but a beacon. We stand up in support of artists around the world, we stand up to those who would try to limit our freedom of expression, and we stand up for this fundamental principle that all creative artists around the world are connected by that unbreakable bond and more powerful and permanent than nationality and politics. And just as our work does not stop at borders, borders cannot be allowed to stop any of us.”