After a heated controversy around diversity in Oscars 2016, the Academy has addressed the issue. The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced a sweeping series of substantive changes to its recruiting process, voting requirements, governing structure and work toward increasing the diversity of its membership.
The board's goal is to commit to doubling the number of women and diverse members by 2020. Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement: "The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up. These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition."
The most prominent change announced is the requirement that the voting status of both new and current members are reviewed every 10 years. Similarly, voting status may be revoked for those who have not been active in the film business for a decade. But members who have had three 10-year terms will have lifetime voting rights, as will those who have won or been nominated for an Academy Award.
At the same time, the Academy will supplement the traditional process in which current members sponsor new members by launching an ambitious, global campaign to identify and recruit qualified new members who represent greater diversity. In order to immediately increase diversity on the Board of Governors, the Academy will establish three new governor seats that will be nominated by the president for three-year terms and confirmed by the board.
The Academy will also take immediate action to increase diversity by adding new members who are not governors to its executive and board committees where key decisions about membership and governance are made. This will allow new members an opportunity to become more active in decision-making and help the organisation identify and nurture future leaders.
The new rules and processes may bring down some of the criticism that the Academy has been facing for failing to nominate a black actor in any of the acting categories for the second year in a row.