This Latino Oscars Voter is Pissed About the Academy’s Recent Voting Reforms

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When the Academy Awards released its 2016 nominations, not a single person of color was nominated for an acting award. The lack of diversity ignited a social media firestorm, and for the second year in a row, #OscarSoWhite summed up people’s frustrations. Stars like Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, and Spike Lee threatened to boycott the awards.

In response, the Academy promised to overhaul its system to include more minorities and women voters. One of these measures will involve putting the voting rights of future and current members up for review every 10 years. Unsurprisingly, this move has led to some backlash from older Academy members, who have accused president Cheryl Boone Isaacs of trying to push them out. The Hollywood Reporter has been publishing a series of columns from Academy voters reacting to the updates, and on Monday they published a critical response from perhaps an unexpected source: Mark Reina, a gay Latino who worked in Hollywood for 20 years.

“I understand your need to respond to the criticism the Academy has recently received about the lack of diversity among the Oscar nominees. However, I am baffled at your and the board’s choice of a response,” his letter started off, before explaining that the new rules would probably strip him of him voting rights.

Then, he let her have it. “Are you saying I am racist or have racist tendencies and need to be excluded from voting? Are you saying if I worked another 10 years I would vote differently?” He explained that he only votes when he has seen every movie and that he has been an active member since he joined in 1995.

“I am a gay man and my father is a Latino immigrant. Please explain to me how denying me my right to vote makes the Academy membership and the Oscar nominees more diverse?”

Reina had not heard from Boone as of yesterday. Check out his full letter here.