The Academy Adds Diversity to Leadership

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced new additions to its leadership on Tuesday in the wake of this year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs appointed Reginald Hudlin (directors branch), Gregory Nava (writers branch), and Jennifer Yuh Nelson (short films and feature animation branch) to join the Academy’s 51-seat Board of Governors for three-year terms.

The Board of Governors also selected seven members of the Academy to join six existing Board committees.

Actor Gael García Bernal (“Mozart in the Jungle”) joins the awards and events committee; cinematographer Amy Vincent (“Wayward Pines”) joins the preservation and history committee; producer Effie Brown (“Dear White People”) joins the museum committee; executive Marcus Hu (“Bad Actress”) and animator Floyd Norman (“Monsters, Inc.”) join the education and outreach committee; executive of 20th Century Fox’s animation division Vanessa Morrison joins the finance committee; and producer Stephanie Allain (“Beyond the Lights”) joins the membership and administration committee.

“I’m proud of the steps we have taken to increase diversity,” Boone Isaacs said in a statement. “However, we know there is more to do as we move forward to make this a more inclusive organization.”

The Academy is also doubling down on its Jan. 21 declaration to make the Academy’s membership, governing bodies, and voting members more diverse.

Oscar voters must be active members of the film industry to continue voting. Each branch executive committee will decide the standards for active voters and will review individuals every two years.

Active voters are defined as those who have worked in the film industry in the last 10 years; those who have worked anytime during three 10-year periods consecutive or not; and members who have won or been nominated for an Oscar.

An appeals process will also be set in place for any members in danger of losing their voting rights.

The Academy’s sweeping initiatives are partly a result of no actors of color being nominated for a second consecutive year.

“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” Boone Isaacs said in a statement in January. “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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