This year’s Oscar nomination announcement once again ignited a social media firestorm over the lack of nominations for actors and directors of color. The criticism, which coalesced under the hashtag #OscarSoWhite, also led prominent Hollywood figures to speak out and even threaten to boycott the awards, including Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee.
The controversy has yet to die down, and over the weekend even Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs – who happens to be a woman of color – released a statement addressing the need to diversify the Academy’s membership. Today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has explained in more detail how they will take action, announcing changes to their voting requirements. The goal of these changes is to double the number of female and minority members by 2020, according to The New York Times.
“The academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” Cheryl Boone Isaacs, said in a statement.
One of the biggest changes will be that voting status for both future and current members will be reviewed every 10 years, and may be revoked for those who have inactive in the film business for a decade. It’s too soon to know how many people may have voting status revoked as a result of this rule change, but it seems like this move will push old members out.
“The notion of having my academy vote taken away from me because of age, and inactivity in the industry, is outrageous,” one film director told the NYT anonymously.