The Academy react to Oscars diversity controversy

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As a result of the growing discontent over the absence of diversity among this year’s Oscar nominees, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that it will implement ‘a sweeping series of substantive changes’.

Primarily criticism has been focused on an all-white list of nominees for the second year in a row for the two main acting categories, however comments on gender inequality, in specific the issue of women in the film industry has also been raised.  In reaction to this, president Cheryl Boone stated that the the Academy would ‘commit to doubling the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020’, and in addition for new voting members a 10-year limit will be placed in order to significantly change the process of the governance, voting and membership composition. Actors Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Director Spike Lee are just some of the significant individuals who announced their boycott of the 2016’s Oscars after it was reported that no black or minority actors had been nominated in any of the four Oscars acting categories.

Actress Charlotte Rampling described the boycott as ‘racist against white people’. Essentially, there is still a divide in Hollywood on the Oscars boycott, with Will Smith arguing that the nominations reflect the Academy, which reflects the industry, and in turn reflects America. In response to this public outcry the Academy aims to launch the recruiting of members who represent ‘greater diversity’ in the voting process for the nominations. The changes that the Academy aim to undertake will however not play into affect for the winners of this year’s Oscars.

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