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."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • 'Life' review: Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds' space horror a real treat for the audience

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    The film "Life" is a test-tube baby, born from a blend of old-school monster-movie DNA and state-of-the-art digital effects. At times silly - yet surprisingly satisfying - this tale of sci-fi suspense and horror, set in the weightless environment of the International Space Station, gives Emmanuel Lubezki's vertiginous "Gravity" cinematography a run for its money, with dizzyingly deft camera choreography and long, unbroken takes shot by Seamus McGarvey ("Nocturnal Animals," "The Avengers") that…
  • Feds promise more money for arts, culture in budget but with few details

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Liberal government promised more funding for arts and culture in Wednesday's budget, but offered few concrete details as to what the money will be spent on. The budget promised an extra $1.8 billion for culture and recreation over the next decade, starting next year. Source
  • Russia, Ukraine at odds over singer's Eurovision performance

    Entertainment CTV News
    GENEVA -- Eurovision song contest organizers say they have taken the unprecedented step of offering to let Russia's contestant perform via satellite after authorities in host Ukraine banned her from entering the country -- a proposal that was immediately rejected by a Russian state broadcaster. Source
  • 'Who else would I be thinking about'; John Mayer never got over Katy Perry

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    John Mayer cried as he channelled his heartbreak over his split from Katy Perry into his new single Still Feel Like Your Man. The stars dated on and off from 2012 until early 2016, and although Perry promptly moved on with British actor Orlando Bloom, Mayer admits he never fully got over the break-up, because their relationship had meant so much to him. Source
  • Filmmaker finds Edmonton short on equipment, crews and funding

    Entertainment CBC News
    Michael Maxxis is discovering the joys and challenges of shooting a feature film in his hometown of Edmonton. The Alberta capital is still a city in training when it comes to film infrastructure, he said. Source
  • Bob Dylan holds forth on Frank Sinatra, Joan Baez, Minnesota in rare interview

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    An old rock-and-roll legend has it that Bob Dylan and George Harrison were supposed to record with Elvis Presley, but The King was a no-show. As Dylan tells it, though, Presley "did show up, it was us that didn't. Source
  • James Corden felt a 'long way from home' amid London attack

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- James Corden has taken a moment to pay respects to his native London following a deadly attack there. The British host of CBS' "Late Late Show" said on Wednesday's show that he "felt a really long, long way from home" while watching news reports of the attack that left four people dead, including the attacker. Source
  • Dylan gives rare interview, talks Sinatra, Elvis

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Bob Dylan opened about his music and songwriting and discussed his relationships with Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and others in a rare and lengthy interview posted exclusively to his website Wednesday. Source
  • Bob Dylan gives rare interview, talks Sinatra, Elvis

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Bob Dylan opened up about his music and songwriting and discussed his relationships with Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and others in a rare and lengthy interview posted exclusively to his website Wednesday. Source
  • U.S. actor Gere compares West Bank town to 'Old South'

    Entertainment CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Actor Richard Gere has compared life for Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron to segregation in the United States. The "Pretty Woman" star toured Hebron this week with Breaking the Silence, a group of Israeli ex-soldiers who criticize Israeli policies in the West Bank. Source