Boone Isaacs gave a speech during the annual Oscar lunch that hosts the nominees of the year. Where the luncheon is usually mostly a networking and publicity opportunity, Boone Isaacs made a point of commenting on the social context of the awards. Boone Isaacs broached the subject of the Academy not recognizing actors and filmmakers of color last year during the#OscarsSoWhite flap.
"The Academy grew by 683 new members," said Boone Isaacs. "Men and womenwho will inspire the next generation with the same sense of wonder and enchantment thatfirst touched each of you. Simply put, real progress has been made. Progress that I am confident will continue in the future as we continue to bring change to the Academy and our entire industry."
She juxtaposed that issue with the current political climate in the United States of America where some of the nominees of the Oscars this year will not be able to attend the ceremony because of the travel ban enacted by U.S. President Trump. Iranian star, Taraneh Alidoosti, and director, Asghar Farhadi, were not able to attend the luncheon and will likely not attend the Oscars on February 26 despite their film,The Salesman, being nominated.
"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 and limit our freedom of expression and we stand up for this fundamental principle," continued Boone Isaacs.