The Academy Awards committee is determined to rebuild its system after it was accused of discriminating against actors of colour.
This week, following the media storm it was forced to face after this year’s nominees were announced, it has announced that it is to implement new plans set to make the aforementioned discrimination a thing of the past.
Full story below…
‘The Hollywood Reporter‘ explains:
In its efforts to diversify voices within the organization, the Academy board also appointed additional Academy members to each of the board’s six oversight committees.
Mexico-born actor Gael Garcia Bernal, whose credits range from Y Tu Mama Tambien to the current Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle, is joining the awards and events committee, chaired by first vp Jeffrey Kurland; cinematographer Amy Vincent, whose work includes Hustle & Flowand Black Snake Moan, is joining the preservation and history committee, chaired by vp John Bailey; producer Effie Brown, who emerged as a champion of diversity in the recent edition of HBO’s Project Greenlight, is joining the museum committee, chaired by vp Kathleen Kennedy; executive Marcus Hu, co-founder of the indie distributor Strand Releasing, and animator Floyd Norman, whose long list of credits encompass work on the 1967 animated Jungle Book and 2001’s Monsters Inc., are joining the education and outreach committee, chaired by vp Bill Kroyer; executive Vanessa Morrison, president of Fox Animation, is joining the finance committee, chaired by treasurer Jim Gianopulos; and producer Stephanie Allain, director of Film Independent’s Los Angeles Film Festival, is joining the membership and administration committee, chaired by secretary Phil Robinson.
As well as diversifying its voting board, the academy has changed its rules in ways which are set to ruffle the feathers of some of those of its members who have retained their voting privileges without contributing to the changing industry within the last ten years.
Most of the members who are still on the chopping block are probably people who were invited to join based on a brief but impressive body of work, and who then left the film industry entirely for one reason or another.
The original rule, which many believe is to blame for the organisation’s “old fashioned” take on diversity, sees members allowed to retain their rights if they have worked within the industry within three consecutive ten-year periods.
Some critics believes that this rule allowed older and allegedly prejudice members to push actors of colour out of the equation because, according to said critics, they were unwilling to adapt to or unfamiliar with change.
Those who hoped it would be scrapped may be upset to learn that it hasn’t been.
Instead, its been reworded to “require activity anytime during three 10-year periods whether consecutive or not.”
However, that doesn’t mean their behaviour won’t go unmonitored.
The board has now foisted the final decisions about whether or not a member retains voting privileges on to each branch’s executive committee, which the board has also empowered to “determine specific criteria” to consider when they meet “every two years — starting this spring — to review their members and determine any potential reclassifications. The committees also will adopt an appeals process for members who may lose their voting privileges.”