The Academy Announces a Groundbreaking Plan to Fix Its Diversity Problem by 2020

The backlash to this year's noms might just make some change.

A woman and man stand on stage next to a large screen displaying "Best Picture."
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Academy announced today that it has a plan to address this year's #OscarsSoWhite backlash. They pledged to double the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020, according to a press release.

Each member's voting status will last 10 years, under the new rules, and will only be renewed if the new member has been active in film during that time period. Those who don't qualify for active status will be moved to emeritus status and will not be allowed to vote.

The Academy will also add three governor seats, as well as additional new members to their executive board. And they'll launch "an ambitious, global campaign to identify and recruit qualified new members who represent greater diversity," the release stated.  

The Academy has drawn criticism after including only white actors in the Oscar nominee pool for the second year in a row, with stars like Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Spike Lee boycotting next month's telecast and actors like George Clooney and Lupita Nyong'o speaking out about Hollywood's diversity problem.

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

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Kate Storey

Kate Storey is a contributing editor at Marie Claire and writer-at-large at Esquire magazine, where she covers culture and politics. Kate's writing has appeared in ELLE, Harper's BAZAAR, Town & Country, and Cosmopolitan, and her first book comes out in summer 2023.