#OscarsSoWhite Controversy Prompts Changes to Film Academy
The Academy has officially responded to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
After an uproar over the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar acting nominees, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced some pretty dramatic changes in a statement on Friday (Jan. 22, 2016). They promise to change voting rights, appoint new individuals to its executive and committees, and set a goal to double the number of diverse members by 2020.
“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs in a statement. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.” The changes include these new membership guidelines:
Each new member’s voting status will last 10 years, and will be renewed if that new member has been active in motion pictures during that decade. In addition, members will receive lifetime voting rights after three ten-year terms; or if they have won or been nominated for an Academy Award. We will apply these same standards retroactively to current members.
The Academy’s full statement can be read here, with changes reportedly in effect after this year’s Oscar ceremony. Now, we shall
patiently wait to see what Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Snoop Dogg, and more will have to say about the Academy’s announcement.