April Reign has been leading the charge -- online and otherwise -- calling for greater diversity in Hollywood with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. Now, as the Academy Awards approach, airing Feb. 28, the former attorney and managing editor of BroadwayBlack.com announced via Twitter the next step in her strategy to hold the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and broader Hollywood accountable.
“Don’t reward the #Oscars telecast w/ your viewership next Sun if stories featuring you aren’t being shown on the big screen,” she tweeted.
And that is the main reason for the movement which began as a hashtag.
“That’s the point of #OscarsSoWhite: if a quality film is made, ALL people will go see it & enjoy it,” she tweeted. “We need more inclusive films like that.”
Since the hubbub following the all-white slate of acting nominees -- for the second year in a row-- the academy announced a number of substantive changes to its membership and voting policies. It also made a commitment to diversifying its ranks with women and minorities by 2020.
Reign commented that such changes “will make a significant difference.”
“I appreciate the fact that the vote was unanimous, which indicates to me that the academy is serious about making the organization more inclusive and more diverse,” she said in an interview with The Times. “I’ve spoken about my concern that some of the older academy members still have a vote even though they aren’t active in the film industry and that appears to be addressed. The fact that they will be proactively looking for more diverse members is [also] exciting.”
For those not wanting to watch “The Wood,” Reign made her plea clear that the goal is to show collective unity in affecting the ratings of the Oscars telecast -- so, watch what you will, just not the Academy Awards. The goal is to get #OscarsSoWhite trending during the telecast as it did last year.
“As we have been doing, let’s send a message to Hollywood by using the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag next Sunday night,” Reign tweeted. “The time for change is now.”
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