Academy Announces 'Historic' Changes to Increase Diversity Following #OscarsSoWhite Boycott
By John Boone
The Academy is responding to the #OscarsSoWhite backlash.
After the organization nominated exclusively white actors for the second year in a row, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Friday that they would make "historic" changes to increase diversity.
The goal, they say, is to double the number of women and "diverse members" by 2020.
Following the nominations announcement, Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee announced they would boycott the Academy Awards this year. Other celebrities followed suit, and there was even a call for host Chris Rock to step down.
These changes will affect member voting status (10 years, and renewable if the member has worked in movies during that decade -- or lifelong, if you’re an Academy Award winner or nominee), the Board of Governors itself (three new seats are being created) and the executive board.
The Academy will also launch "an ambitious, global campaign" to recruit qualified, diverse members.
"The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up," Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who previously told ET the lack of diversity is "disappointing," explained. "These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition."
Two-time Oscar nominee Viola Davis spoke on that point earlier this week, when she told ET that, "The problem is not with the Oscar. The problem is with the Hollywood movie-making system."
The Emmy winner -- the first black actress to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series -- went on to explain the questions Hollywood should be asking itself. "How many black films are being produced every year?" she asked. "Are the big-time producers thinking outside of the box in terms of how to cast the role?"
Find out what else Davis had to say about the boycott in the below video: