After outcry from Hollywood’s top Black stars, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled new plans to increase diversity among the Academy’s membership.
On Friday, the Academy announced lifetime voting statuses for members will last 10 years and will only be renewed if the members are active in films during that decade. Previously, lifetime voting rights were given to all members of the Academy. If a member isn’t active in the industry, they will still be a part of the academy, but will not engage in the voting process. The Academy also plans to double the presence of women and people of color by 2020.
Currently, the Academy is made up of previous nominees upon consideration, winners, and writers in 17 branches.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs released a bold statement about the film industry in the announcement.
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.”
New roles will also be made in the Academy. Three new governor seats nominated by the President have been added to the current Board of Governors. Their roles include the upkeep of awards rules, awards review, finance, and general membership. Currently, there are 51 governors in the 2015-2016 class. President Boone Isaacs and cinematographer Daryn Okada are the only members of color.
The new changes came with positive replies from Ava DuVernay and Lupita Nyong’o.
Nigerian-American director Rick Famuyiwa known for his films “The Wood,” Brown Sugar,” and “Dope,” had another outlook on the changes.
The changes made will not affect the voting of this year’s Oscars.
SOURCE: Oscars | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty