Os­cars an­nounce plans to re­form vot­ing pool

Board aims for 48% women mem­ber­ship, 14% to “di­verse groups”

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - By Sandy Co­hen

Film academy pres­i­dent Ch­eryl Boone Isaacs an­nounced Fri­day that the academy will dou­ble the num­ber of fe­male and mi­nor­ity mem­bers by 2020, and will im­me­di­ately di­ver­sify its lead­er­ship by adding three new seats to its board of gov­er­nors.

The academy now aims for women to com­prise 48 per­cent of its mem­ber­ship and “di­verse groups” at least 14 per­cent as an ini­tial step.

“We all are aware that our mem­ber­ship is pretty closed, if you will,” she said in an in- ter­view Fri­day with The As­so­ci­ated Press. “How­ever, life has changed. Things have changed.”

The Academy of Mo­tion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences’ 51-mem­ber board of gov­er­nors unan­i­mously ap­proved a se­ries of re­forms late Thurs­day to “be­gin the process of sig­nif­i­cantly chang­ing our mem­ber­ship com­po­si­tion,” Boone Isaacs said, fol­low­ing a week­long storm of crit­i­cism and calls for an Os­car boy­cott be­cause of the lack of di­ver­sity among nom­i­nees. Sev­eral of Hol­ly­wood’s most prom­i­nent African-Amer­i­cans, in­clud­ing Will Smith and Spike Lee, have said they won’t at­tend this year’s Os­cars, which is to be hosted by Chris Rock.

Other ap­proved academy changes in­clude lim­it­ing mem­bers’ vot­ing sta­tus to a pe­riod of 10 years, to be ex­tended only if the in­di­vid­ual re­mains ac­tive in film dur­ing that decade. Life­time vot­ing rights will be granted only to Academy Award nom­i­nees and win­ners, and to mem­bers af­ter three ten-year vot­ing terms. Pre­vi­ously, all ac­tive mem­bers re­ceived life­time vot­ing rights.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion also plans to di­ver­sify its lead­er­ship by adding new mem­bers to key de­ci­sion-mak­ing com­mit­tees.

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