After Jada Pinkett Smith and other entertainers spoke out on the lack of diversity at the Oscars, a change has been made.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that they have plans to increase diversity among African-Americans and women by 2020.
The Motion Picture Academy is getting some "brothas on the wall" -- to quote Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" -- after unanimously voting to increase its minority and female membership.
Thursday night's vote -- a clear reaction to outrage over a lack of black Oscar nominees recently -- will not affect this year's ceremony, but instead aims to double the Academy's diversity by 2020.
Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said they will immediately begin recruiting new minority members. She also announced new rules to ensure that the only members who get to vote on Oscar nominees will be those who are still actively making films.
Bottom line: If you're an Academy member who's old and out of touch with the latest movie culture ... your days might be numbered.
What the vote doesn't address is what Spike talked about -- which is more minorities at the studio level who decide which films get made.
Oscars.org reports: In a unanimous vote Thursday night (1/21), the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved a sweeping series of substantive changes designed to make the Academy’s membership, its governing bodies, and its voting members significantly more diverse. The Board’s goal is to commit to doubling the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020.
“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”
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.
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.
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