Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs got things rolling at tonight’s Governors Awards ceremony with a pointed acknowledgement of tragic events in Paris. “We stand in solidarity in support of France and the French people,” Boone Isaacs said. “Our connection with the film-loving French is deep. As we gather here we also mourn those who died. We send our deepest condolences to our friends in France.”
Boone Isaacs, as it happens, just returned from France so events there have personal resonance.
Turning to the Academy’s continuing efforts to encourage diversity in the industry, Boone Isaacs said the organization is launching A2020, a program with the goal of promoting more diversity in Hollywood over the next five years. “When it comes to fair and equal representation in our industry, words are are not enough,” Boone Isaacs said. Other industries have also launched their own versions of the 2020 campaign.
She also noted that two of the recipients of Governors Awards tonight are women — actresses Gena Rowlands and Debbie Reynolds, and another is African American, director Spike Lee. Rowlands and Lee are receiving honorary awards for their collective works, and Reynolds (who’s recovering from surgery and unable to attend) is to receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.