Academy pres­i­dent urges Os­car nom­i­nees to ‘stand up’

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - USA TO­DAY LOS AN­GE­LES —

Academy of Mo­tion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences pres­i­dent Ch­eryl Boone Isaacs gave an im­pas­sioned ap­peal to fel­low mem­bers to “stand up” in po­lit­i­cally tur­bu­lent times dur­ing her speech at Mon­day’s Os­cars nom­i­nees’ lun­cheon.

Boone Isaacs de­voted her time in front of the more than 165 Os­car nom­i­nees at the an­nual event to urg­ing them to go po­lit­i­cal in their work and words.

The academy has re­acted strongly to U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der sus­pend­ing im­mi­gra­tion from seven pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim coun­tries, which would have pre­vented Os­car-nom­i­nated Ira­nian direc­tor As­ghar Farhadi from at­tend­ing the Feb. 26 Os­cars be­fore a fed­eral judge blocked the ban. Farhadi, a vo­cal critic of the pol­icy, wasn’t at the lun­cheon at the Bev­erly Hil­ton ho­tel and has said he won’t at­tend the Os­cars.

“Each and ev­ery one of us knows there are some empty chairs in this room, which have made academy artists ac­tivists,” Boone Isaacs said. “There’s a strug­gle glob­ally to­day about artis­tic free­dom that feels more ur­gent now more than any time since the 1950s. Art has no bor­ders and doesn’t be­long to a sin­gle faith. The power of art is that it tran­scends all of these things and strong so­ci­eties don’t cen­sor art. They cel­e­brate it.

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