The Academy Just Showed The GOP How Diversity Is Done, Changed The Rules For Oscar Voting

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has come under serious fire recently for being, well — too much like the Republican Party. The voting members of the Academy, it turns out, average more than 60-years-old and are predominantly white males.

As nominees for this year’s Academy Awards were released, minority members noticed that the coveted Oscars were going to once again be a gathering of the Hollywood White Boys Club. This year, however, some of the most influential people in the industry decided to take a stand. After actors of the calibre of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee, along with many other highly respected minorities in the business boycotted the event, the Academy began looking fo a solution to the #OscarsSoWhite problem.

That solution came today, as the Academy announced that they will be changing the rules of voting for members, which is expected to weed out some of those who havenb’t been active for years yet still cast their votes for anyone who is white, male and heterosexual.

The new rules, according to a statement from Academy  President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, are as follows:

  • New members will be eligible for a 10-year membership in the Academy. During that decade, they will have to be active in the film industry in some capacity.
  • If they are active, their membership will be automatically renewed for another 10-year term at the end of the first one.
  • After three 10-year terms, they will become lifetime members of the Academy, who can vote in the Oscars going forward.
  • Academy members who have been nominated for or have won Academy Awards will similarly be eligible to vote in the Oscars until death.
  • These rules also apply retroactively. Thus, some Academy members will lose their voting rights beginning with the 2017 awards (which reward movies made in 2016). They will become emeritus members and enjoy all the other benefits of Academy membership.

The statement also outlines other measures the Academy is looking to take to increase the diversity of its membership to better represent the work contributed by minorities and women.

The Academy’s proactive approach to solving a problem that wasn’t going to just go away is a breath of fresh air. The Republican party could learn a thing or two from them.

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