It’s the most shocking moment in Academy Awards history: Somehow, someway, presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway read the incorrect winner for Best Picture, announcing La La Land instead of Moonlight. Even now, it doesn’t seem real. Perhaps that’s why we can’t stop talking about that moment ourselves.
In her first public speaking appearance since the event, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs publicly addressed the snafu for the first time. She expressed gratitude over the “humanity” with which cast and crew from both Moonlight and La La Land handled the fiasco.
“You saw a respect and graciousness from the La La Land and the Moonlight filmmakers in a way that I thought was very special,” said Isaacs, who was at the 2017 SXSW Conference & Festivals for a conversation with Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures screenwriter Allison Schroeder.
Following the Oscars, Isaacs promised to Academy members “changes will be implemented to ensure this never happens again.” During her talk, Isaacs also commended the show’s producers and host Jimmy Kimmel for a “brilliant, wonderful show.”
One of the main focuses for Isaacs during her time as Academy President has been to evolve the membership’s diversity in the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. To help usher in a new era for the organization, Isaacs instituted the A2020 initiative. “Last year with the Academy has been very interesting, to say the least,” she said, adding, “The conversation will continue.”