Reprinted from The Guardian UK by Sam Levin on February 5, 2017.
The Academy president praised the industry for tackling its “worst abuses” during an annual Oscars lunch speech that recognized the #MeToo movement and a “crossroads” in Hollywood.
“The fossilized bedrock of many of Hollywood’s worst abuses are being jackhammered into oblivion,” said John Bailey, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, addressing the nominees for the 90th Oscars ceremony, gathered in Beverly Hills. “Nowhere is this being made clearer than in the richness of many of this year’s nominated films.”
Bailey – elected in August just before the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations sparked a reckoning in the entertainment industry – also spoke of diversity and representation in the film industry, Variety reported. There has been some progress this year with notable nominations for female-driven movies and black film-makers.
Bailey prefaced his remarks by noting that he is a “75-year-old white man”, later adding: “The Academy is at a crossroads of change … We are witnessing this motion picture academy reinvent itself in front of our very eyes, and a greater awareness and responsibility in balancing gender, race, ethnicity, and religion.” …