Take a good long look at that sign. Those proportions are correct.
But things are looking up.
The LA Times’ Nicole Sperling breaks the news that the Academy might “relax” its cap on membership in hopes of adding a more diverse slate to their membership.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is aiming to expand and diversify its ranks by relaxing a cap on membership that has restricted new admittances since 2004.
The academy has about 5,800 voting members; in recent years, fewer than 200 people have been invited to join annually. The number of openings is essentially determined by how many members have retired, resigned or died. In the last decade, the overall ranks have not grown by more than 30 members a year.
Academy leaders say they are not loosening the qualifications for membership. Rules state that there are three ways to become eligible for admittance: an Oscar nomination, a recommendation from two members of the applicant’s branch, or an endorsement by the branch’s membership committee and staff.
It is unclear just how many new members the academy will invite this year, and when and how the policy change was arrived at. An academy spokeswoman said Friday that the change was recommended last fall to the Board of Governors by the general membership committee.
But the problem will be finding works they deem “deserving” of admiration by this very white, very male, very old group. What they consider “works of value” will be those projects they approve of, as we’ve seen by their nominations and winners for almost all of the last 85 years:
“I suspect we will be pretty self-limiting in terms of who we take in, in large part because the people on our membership committee have produced a lot of movies and want to keep the academy a merit-based organization,” he said. He added that in order to be eligible for admission to the producers branch, a prospective member must have two full producing credits on “works of a particular value.”
In other words, in order to see change within the Academy, we have to change within the boomer generation – an evolution of taste and perspective. I see their tastes devolving, with traditional films that reflect the world they knew and still want to associate with, not the world that has dramatically changed in eight decades.