By Mandela Wells
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has issued a statement announcing major changes to its policies, voting system and membership after receiving backlash in regards to this year’s Oscar nominations.
While this does not affect this year’s ceremony, the academy said “beginning later this year, 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.”
Members of the Academy who have been inactive, on the other hand, will be moved to “emeritus status,” where they will enjoy “all privileges of membership, except voting.”
The Academy further addresses this year’s lack of diversity, as highlighted on social media through he #Oscarssowhite hashtag, and announced the launch of “an ambitious, global campaign” to find new members who “represent greater diversity” in the Academy.
In terms of leadership, “the Academy will be establishing three new governor seats that will be nominated by the President for three-year terms and confirmed by the Board.”
However, they did not stop there, adding that “the Academy will also take immediate action to increase diversity by adding new members who are not Governors to its executive and board committees where key decisions about membership and governance are made.”
President of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, also stated that “The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up. These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”
Now, while these changes do not necessarily solve all of the problems regarding diversity in the film industry, it certainly is a step in there right direction.