Academy overhauls membership rules after Oscar boycott

Film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs says that despite the organization's internal efforts toward inclusion, a second year of all-white acting nominees made her think, "We need to step this up.

See Full Article


Isaacs announced Friday that the academy will double the number of female and minority members by 2020, and will immediately diversify its leadership by adding three new seats to its board of governors. The number of minorities currently serving as members of the academy has not been revealed.

"We all are aware that our membership is pretty closed, if you will," she said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press. "However, life has changed. Things have changed."

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 51-member board of governors unanimously approved a series of reforms late Thursday to "begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition," Isaacs said, following a weeklong storm of criticism and calls for an Oscar boycott because of the lack of diversity among nominees.

Several of Hollywood's most prominent African-Americans, including Will Smith and Spike Lee, have said they won't attend this year's Oscars, which is to be hosted by Chris Rock.

Other approved academy changes include limiting members' voting status to a period of 10 years, to be extended only if the individual remains active in film during that decade. Lifetime voting rights will be granted only to Academy Award nominees and winners, and to members after three ten-year voting terms. Previously, all active members received lifetime voting rights.

The organization also plans to diversify its leadership beyond the board of governors by adding new members to key decision-making committees, and further diversify its membership with a global campaign to identify and recruit diverse talent.

Reaction came swiftly. Ava DuVernay, director of last year's best picture-nominee "Selma," tweeted that the changes were "one good step in a long, complicated journey for people of colour and women artists." She added: "Shame is a helluva motivator."

"Marginalized artists have advocated for Academy change for DECADES," DuVernay wrote. "Actual campaigns. Calls voiced FROM THE STAGE. Deaf ears."

And director Rick Famuyiwa, whose films include "The Wood," "Brown Sugar" and last year's "Dope" commented: "The devil is in the details."


Latest Entertainment News

  • Blink-182 to launch a Las Vegas residency

    Entertainment CTV News
    U.S. band Blink-182 has announced a 16-show Las Vegas residency that kicks off May 26. For what's being called "Kings of the Weekend," the rock/pop/punk trio -- Mark Hoppus (vocals/bass), Travis Barker (drums), and Matt Skiba (guitar) -- will perform at the newly renovated Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort, which can accommodate 2,500 concert-goers. Source
  • Selena Gomez responds after bikini pics show scar

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Selena Gomez took to Instagram after bikini photos of her in Australia showing a scar drew social media comments that she looked "thick." The singer wrote that the beauty myth was "an obsession with physical perfection that traps modern woman in an endless cycle of hopelessness, self consciousness and self-hatred. Source
  • Just For Laughs sold to Howie Mandel and American company

    Entertainment CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Just For Laughs has been sold to an investor group led by Howie Mandel and ICM Partners, an American talent agency. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available. The new owner says the company will continue normal operations, with the same leadership in place. Source
  • Just For Laughs sold to American company

    Entertainment CBC News
    After weeks of rumours, Just for Laughs has officially been sold. The iconic Montreal-based company announced Wednesday it has been acquired by comedian Howie Mandel and ICM Partners, a Los Angeles-based talent and literary agency. The Just For Laughs offices and festival will remain in Montreal, ICM said in a statement. Source
  • Songs by Tony Bennett, Gloria Estefan being added to Recording Registry

    Entertainment CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Songs performed by Tony Bennett, Gloria Estefan and Run-DMC are among 25 recordings being added to the National Recording Registry. The Library of Congress announced on Wednesday the list of titles being honoured for their cultural and historic importance to the American soundscape. Source
  • Man dies after getting head stuck in movie theatre seat while trying to retrieve phone

    Entertainment CTV News
    LONDON - A British movie chain is investigating the death of a moviegoer who reportedly became trapped under a footrest while trying to retrieve a dropped mobile phone. British media say the man suffered a heart attack in a cinema in Birmingham on March 9 after his head became trapped while he was trying to find his phone. Source
  • Weinstein Co.'s bankruptcy could bring new wave of accusers

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Is #MeToo part two on the way? With its bankruptcy, the Weinstein Co. has tossed out the non-disclosure agreements that officials say its co-founder and former CEO Harvey Weinstein wielded as a weapon in his sexual predation, bringing with it the possibility of a whole new wave of victims coming forward. Source
  • Rare Winston Churchill painting of B.C. lake sells for $87,000

    Entertainment CTV News
    A rare painting of an aquamarine-blue lake in British Columbia by Winston Churchill has sold at auction for nearly $87,000. That sale greatly surpasses the estimated price of $11,000 to $14,000. The piece was sold for £47,500, or $86,936 CAD, by Sotheby’s at an auction in London. Source
  • The Crown producers apologize after Claire Foy, Matt Smith pay disparity uproar

    Entertainment CBC News
    Producers of the Netflix drama The Crown apologized Tuesday to actors Claire Foy and Matt Smith over the revelation that Foy was paid less than her male co-star. A producer disclosed last week that Foy — who starred in the first two seasons as Queen Elizabeth II — was paid less than Smith — who played Prince Philip — because Smith was better known. Source
  • 'This is the year of the female' filmmaker says as Hot Docs achieves gender parity

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- The topic of female empowerment that's been dominating headlines with the .MeToo movement is also being heavily reflected at this year's Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. In announcing the lineup for the 25th edition of the Toronto festival on Tuesday, organizers said they've achieved gender parity for the first time, with 50 per cent of the films coming from female directors and many projects with themes relating to women rising up. Source