On Friday, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced sweeping changes to its structural and voting process aimed at promoting diversity within the Academy and its governing entities—changes the Academy promises will double the number of women and “diverse members” by 2020.
“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”
The announcement comes amid ongoing outrage sparked by this year’s Oscar nominations, which failed to include a single person of color in its Best Film, Best Director, or its four major acting categories. The response quickly resulted in the social media campaign #OscarsSoWhite to call attention to the industry’s diversity issues.
1.21.16, NY Post Cover. #OscarsSoWhite pic.twitter.com/95whs5uhTh
— deray mckesson (@deray) January 21, 2016
Shortly after the nominations were unveiled, Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, and Spike Lee announced they were not going to attend this year’s awards ceremony.
“The Academy reflects the industry, reflects Hollywood, and the industry reflects America, reflects a series of challenges that we’re having in our country at the moment,” Smith said. “There’s a regressive slide towards separatism, toward racial and religious disharmony, and that’s not the Hollywood I want to leave behind, that’s not the industry, that’s not the America I want to leave behind.”
Read the Academy’s full announcement here: