The Academy announces membership changes in light of recent controversy
The lack of diversity in this year's Academy Award nominations have people up in arms, and it looks like the Academy is acting fast in order to avoid this issue come next year's awards. They've just announced a big change in their membership policy that will assure current filmmakers have the ability to vote, and that more people are added to its executive and board committees where key decisions about membership and governance are made.
As Entertainment Weekly reports, rather than grant a member lifetime voting rights, the Academy will now give each new member voting status for 10 years. That membership will be renewed if the member has been active in motion pictures in that decade. Members will receive lifetime voting rights after three 10-year terms of if they have won or been nominated for an Academy Award. Members who fail to qualify for active status will be reclassified as emeritus members, and in turn will not have the ability to place an Oscar vote.
In regards to these new rules, this should allow for a greater percentage of Academy members to lead the way and ensure more current memebers of the filmmaking community are calling the shots. Now, whether or not this will placate many of those who are planning to boycott this year's Oscars remains to be seen. My only hope going forward is that people with amazing talents who turn in great performances are recognized regardless of the color of their skin and not because of it.