Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, took another step towards diversifying the institution, announcing the appointment of three new members of the board of governors late Tuesday afternoon.
The induction of Reginald Hudlin for the directors branch, Gregory Nava for the writers branch and Jennifer Yuh Nelson for the short films and feature animation branch of the Academy’s 51-seat board was the focal point of a meeting whose agenda was shaped heavily by the Academy’s ongoing response to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. They replace members whose three-year terms had expired.
The board held an emergency meeting on diversity a week after the Oscar nominations were announced Jan. 14 and the backlash was ignited. A number of sweeping changes were put in place, including taking away voting privileges from some non-active members and setting the goal of doubling the number of female and minority members by 2020.
“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.”
Beyond the appointments of Hudlin, Nava and Nelson, the board echoed Boone Isaacs’ commitment by appointing additional Academy members to each of the six board committees providing oversight to specific Academy areas.
Actor Gael García Bernal was added to awards and events committee, while cinematographer Amy Vincent joined the Preservation and History Committee and producer Effie Brown was added to the Museum Committee.
Executive Marcus Hu and animator Floyd Norman were brought on board the Education and Outreach Committee, while Vanessa Morrison joined the Finance Committee and producer Stephanie Allain became a part of the Membership and Administration Committee.
The board also reaffirmed its Jan. 21 resolution to make sure Academy voters are active in the motion picture industry. In that meeting, the board decided that each branch executive committee will determine specific criteria for active voters based on the guidelines established in January.
Active voters are defined as those who have worked in the motion picture industry in the last 10 years; those who have worked anytime during three 10-year periods whether consecutive or not; and members who have won or been nominated for an Oscar.
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