Os­cars vow re­forms af­ter di­ver­sity row

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE -

LOS AN­GE­LES: The Os­cars have launched a land­mark cam­paign to di­ver­sify the ranks of Academy Award vot­ers who de­cide which ac­tors, movies and film­mak­ers earn recog­ni­tion, but Hol­ly­wood’s high­est hon­ors may re­main a pre­dom­i­nantly white af­fair for some time to come.

Amid an out­cry against a field of Os­car-nom­i­nated per­form­ers lack­ing a sin­gle per­son of color for a se­cond straight year, the Academy of Mo­tion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences an­nounced a sweep­ing af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion pro­gram on Fri­day, pledg­ing to dou­ble fe­male and mi­nor­ity mem­ber­ship by 2020.

“It’s un­prece­dented for the academy to make this kind of dras­tic over­haul,” said Tom O’Neil, editor of the awards-track­ing web­site Gold Derby. “It’s a very dra­matic an­nounce­ment and a very wel­come break­through.”

There was no im­me­di­ate word from ac­tor Will Smith, film di­rec­tor Spike Lee or a hand­ful of oth­ers vow­ing to skip the Fe­bru­ary 28 awards show about whether they felt the changes go far enough for them to call off their Os­car boy­cott. None the mea­sures will af­fect vot­ing for this year’s Os­cars race — a con­test whose dearth of racial di­ver­sity led to the re­vival of the Twit­ter feed # Os­carsSoWhite that emerged in 2015.

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