Amidst growing outrage over the Oscars’ Whiteness and Hollywood’s institutional racism, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just pledged to take historic measures to address its structural issues.
According to a statement released today (January 22), the Academy’s Board of Governors voted unanimously to implement new policies that aim to limit lifetime voting terms and encourage new membership:
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.
More immediately, the Academy will add three new Board of Governors seats, as well as new seats to other ”executive and board committees where key decisions about membership and governance are made.” Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs explained the Academy’s decisive action by saying that ”the Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up.” With those changes, the Board hopes to “commit to doubling the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020.” Read the full statement here.