This is SUCH a welcome improvement!
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has vowed to make massive changes designed to improve diversity at the Oscars, and within their own membership ranks, in response to the ongoing #OscarsSoWhite controversy!
Information was released by the Academy on Friday that confirmed a massive overhaul to their governing bodies and voting members that will “make the Academy’s membership, its governing bodies, and its voting members significantly more diverse.”
They also stated a goal of DOUBLING the number of women and “diverse” members of the Academy in the next four years.
Current Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs led the way with a statement on Friday:
“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.”
And, here’s more of the Academy’s statement, wherein they outline specific changes made to their membership and voting regulations:
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. We will apply these same standards retroactively to current members. In other words, if a current member has not been active in the last 10 years they can still qualify by meeting the other criteria. Those who do not qualify for active status will be moved to emeritus status. Emeritus members do not pay dues but enjoy all the privileges of membership, except voting. This will not affect voting for this year’s Oscars.
At the same time, the Academy will supplement the traditional process in which current members sponsor new members by launching an ambitious, global campaign to identify and recruit qualified new members who represent greater diversity.
In order to immediately increase diversity on the Board of Governors, the Academy will establish three new governor seats that will be nominated by the President for three-year terms and confirmed by the Board.
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. This will allow new members an opportunity to become more active in Academy decision-making and help the organization identify and nurture future leaders.
TL;DR? Basically, they’re going to:
a.) cycle out older members that no longer qualify in order to keep the voting pool current
b.) add a lot of new, more diverse members now with a “global campaign”
c.) elect some new seats to diversify the Board of Governors
It’s about time the Academy made cold, hard changes to their rules in the name of equality.
Now, let’s see if it actually has an effect on future award shows like we hope…
What do U think of the news?! Tell us in the comments (below)!
[Image via Academy Awards.]