For many this year, the Oscars are yet another awards ceremony applauding white actors and actresses for their contributions to the film industry. To be sure, that is a big part of it, since no actors or actresses of color were nominated for the 2016 Oscars (see more details at Veronike’s post here).
But I’d like to take a few moments to focus on Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the current president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As an African American women representing such a well-known organization, and given the circumstances surrounding this year’s awards, I have to applaud her.
She experiences criticism and racism from all sides and handles it like a queen. Prejudice still exists today, unfortunately. But Isaacs handles it like a pro and keeps her head up high.
She understands the racial issues of the Academy and has already taken steps to rectify it for future members. Isaacs released a statement saying that the Academy “needs to do more, and better and more quickly,” which is encouraging and a big step for the Oscars.
“We have been focused on more inclusion inside of our organization,” says @TheAcademy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs pic.twitter.com/ziMpr4Cjpu
— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) February 29, 2016
She receives awards, like the Rosa Parks Humanitarian Award, due to her efforts to improve human rights. Who else gets these kinds of nominations? Not just anyone, that’s for sure. Isaacs is doing things right, and she’s getting noticed.
The Oscars still have a long way to go in terms of representation. But those that are making changes need to be recognized, too. So while you’re watching the Oscars, watch for Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and give her a round of applause, too. She’s definitely worthy of her own Oscar.