‘Oscar’ Academy to double female and minority members by 2020

The organisers of the Oscars have pledged to double the number of female and minority members of the Academy by 2020.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the changes following a backlash over the lack of diversity in this year’s nominations.

Three new seats will be added to the Academy’s board of governors to improve diversity in leadership.

Several top industry figures have said they will not attend the Oscars.

Actor Will Smith and director Spike Lee are among those to announce they will not be going to February’s Academy Awards, after it emerged no black or minority actors had been nominated in the four Oscars acting categories for the second year running.

Meanwhile Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling has called a boycott “racist against white people”.

Oscars head Boone Isaacs said the new measures announced on Friday would “begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition”.

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

Nominees are chosen by more than 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a group which is itself overwhelmingly white, male and over 50, reports the BBC’s Los Angeles Correspondent James Cook.

Boone Isaacs has previously promised to review the membership to improve inclusion on the basis of “gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation”.

Source: BBC