One of the most exclusive clubs in the world is about to get a little bit – or perhaps more than a little bit – bigger.
On Wednesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is expected to announce its newest class of members, the first round of invitees to join the nearly 90-year-old organization since the #OscarsSoWhite controversy reached a crescendo at this year’s awards ceremony.
Under fire for nominating an all-white slate of actors for two years in a row, the academy vowed to double the number of women and minority members by 2020. It also adopted controversial new rules that will allow it to take away voting rights from inactive members.
A Los Angeles Times study shows just how much work the academy has to do if it intends to reflect the audience it serves — and just how aggressive the group’s new goals are.
In 2012, The Times reported that Oscar voters were 94% white and 77% male. Four years later, the academy has made scant progress: Oscar voters are 91% white and 76% male, according to a new Times study.
Four days before the 2016 Oscars, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs spoke with The Times about the academy’s ambitious goals for diversifying its membership, its controversial plan to take away voting rights from some members and her personal experience during this unusual awards season.
There are qualified people out there. Our goal is to make sure that we are active in bringing in different voices regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president
Diversity has been the talk of Hollywood, but for the most part, the conversation has centered mostly on race and gender. Some have brought in issues of sexuality, but many feel the discussion should expand to include the disabled.