Film academy announced reforms to diversify - KMOV.com

Film academy announced reforms to diversify

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SANDY COHEN, AP Entertainment Writer

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The latest on Friday's statement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on a series of diversity reforms approved by the board of governors late Thursday:

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," president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said.

Other 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 10-year voting terms. Previously, all active members received lifetime voting rights.

The organization also plans to diversify its leadership beyond the board of governors by adding new members to key decision-making committees, and further diversify its membership with a global campaign to identify and recruit diverse talent.

In a statement, the Academy president says that changes to membership will have "an immediate impact."

"The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up," said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. "These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition."

Beginning later this year, each new member's voting status will last 10 years, and will be renewed if that new member has been active in motion pictures during that decade. In addition, members will receive lifetime voting rights after three ten-year terms; or if they have won or been nominated for an Academy Award. We will apply these same standards retroactively to current members. In other words, if a current member has not been active in the last 10 years they can still qualify by meeting the other criteria. Those who do not qualify for active status will be moved to emeritus status. Emeritus members do not pay dues but enjoy all the privileges of membership, except voting. This will not affect voting for this year's Oscars.

The changes come in response to a diversity crisis that erupted for the second time in two years after this year's Oscars acting nominees were all white.

The film academy is pledging to 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.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the changes Friday, following a weeklong storm of criticism and calls for an Oscar boycott after academy members nominated an all-white slate of actors for the second year in a row.

Isaacs said 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."

Other changes include limiting members' voting status to a period of 10 years.

The Film academy pledges to double number of female and minority members by 2020 in response to diversity crisis.

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