Oscars 2016 Controversy: Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs Takes Action, Announces Reforms

Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs at the 87th Oscars Nominations Announcements on January 15, 2015

Following the criticism surrounding the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the Academy President has announced changes and reforms in its structure and voting regulations.

The Academy will steadily look at increasing the number of women and diverse members in such a manner that by 2020 women comprise 48 percent of the organisation while diverse groups make up 14 percent of total membership.

News.com.au reports that the voting status will be limited to 10 years for members.

Additionally, the organization will add three new seats to its 51-person board of governors. The members chosen will be nominated by the President for 3 year terms and then confirmed by the board. Boone Isaacs is expected to name the new board members as soon as early February.

“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,” Boone Isaacs said in an official statement.

The Hollywood Reporter also reports that the Academy will take steps to increase diversity by adding new members to its executive and board committees; especially those which decide on membership and governance issues.

The changes were approved in a unanimous vote by the Academy’s board of governors.

The Academy Awards faced criticism from many A-list actors, including George Clooney, over the lack of nominations of African-American actors and other minorities this year. There are calls to boycott the Oscars and the “#OscarsSoWhite” has been trending on Twitter for a while.

Warner Bros, welcomed the changes and called it as “a great step toward broadening the diversity and inclusivity of the academy and, by extension, the industry,” ABC.net reports.

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