Apparently Academy head Cheryl Boone Isaacs has had enough. Boone Isaacs, the first black president of the organization that issues the Oscars will not seek re-election, according to an Academy spokesperson.
Boone Isaacs has run the Academy for the past four years. She says she’s stepping aside to let “new voices” take over. In a statement, she said:
“It’s been my greatest honor serving on the Academy’s Board of Governors in numerous capacities for more than two decades, and it will be a privilege to provide the opportunity for new voices to have a seat at the table.”
After the lack of diversity at the Oscars in past years a/k/a: #OscarsSoWhite, Boone Isaacs was very vocal about making changes to the awards show.
In fact, she addressed the issue directly at the 2017 Oscars. She said the global community in film is “one that is becoming more inclusive and diverse with each passing day” and “tonight is proof that art has no borders, no single language and does not belong to a single faith. The power of art is that it transcends all these things.”
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Here is a reaction from Najee Ali, who (over the years with other activists), confronted and pressured Boone Isaacs and the Academy regarding their lack of diversity and put the issue front and center.
“The National Action Network of Los Angeles will miss Cheryl Boone Isaacs. After Africans American artists who were denied Oscar nominations, NAN L.A. demanded more diversity within the ranks of Academy voters so we could put an end to “Oscars So White.”
“I was the lead organizer of the national boycott and protest of the Oscars with our national leader and founder of NAN, the Rev. Al Sharpton, joining us for the Oscars demonstration. To her credit, every demand that NAN L.A. called for such as including more people of color, younger Academy voters and more women … was agreed to and carried out by Boone-Isaacs who also spearheaded swift and dramatic changes to the Academy voting system.
“The record number of African-American talent nominated for and and won Oscars this year is a testament to her legacy of change by having more diversity in the ranks of Academy voting members.”
Najee Ali is political director for NAN L.A.