Oscars Board Debating These Major Changes

One member says they may not solve diversity problem
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2016 10:48 AM CST
Oscars Board Debating These Major Changes
An Oscar statue is seen in Los Angeles, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015.   (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Criticisms that the Oscars are too white may not simply result in changes to the membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Los Angeles Times reports the Board of Governors is considering stipulating that 10 movies always be named in the Best Picture category from here on out. It may also name eight or 10 nominees in the acting categories, but the New York Times reports this is a "less likely" option considering how "sacrosanct" the five-person approach is regarded as being. "It's a knee-jerk response to this year's #OscarsSoWhite controversy that, if enacted, won't necessarily solve anything other than the academy's current public relations disaster," an unnamed Academy member says.

Five movies were nominated for Best Picture from 1944 to 2008, while 10 films were nominated for 2009 and 2010. Since then, the Academy has been open to nominating five to 10 movies. The NYT points out that those two 10-film years don't exactly signal instant success: The Blind Side and Precious (both released in 2009) were the only films that could legitimately identify as being ethnically diverse in those years. The Guardian floats one more idea apparently on the table: Rescinding the voting rights of older members who don't vote regularly; a 2012 report described the 6,300-person Academy as 94% white, 77% male, 2% black; and less than 2% Latino. The Academy will discuss possible changes at a meeting on Tuesday. (More Oscars stories.)

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