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Academy to Consider Changes in Membership & Categories to Stem Diversity Crisis

AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs to preside over a meeting of its board on Jan. 26 to consider changes in membership and categories to stem complaints of lack of diversity in its ranks (AMPAS Photo).

LOS ANGELES - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is considering an overhaul of membership requirements at next week’s board meeting as it continues to deal with criticism over this year’s list of nominees.

At the Jan. 26 meeting will work to fight the seeming perception that the Academy is racist or elitist. The general consensus appears to be that the industry itself needs to make big changes, perhaps including a return to 10 best-picture contenders after many have voiced complaints that “Straight Outta Compton” would have been nominated if there were more than this eight slots in the category.

AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a Jan. 8 statement that the Academy “is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership.” She added that there will be “a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity…”

Next week’s board meeting could turn out to be a marathon session. With many of its 6,261 voting members unlikely to support change, it's unclear what the outcome may be according to media sources.


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