The #OscarsSoWhite Twitter campaign has generated a veritable storm of attention following the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announcement of all white shortlists for the main categories of the 2016 Academy Awards. Whilst belonging to an under-represented demographic should not in itself be a passport to a nomination, the furore certainly highlighted the alarming lack of diversity in the Academy members who actually vote on who should be shortlisted and, ultimately win the most prestigious awards in the film world.
Many keyboards were bashed in anger as the implications of a membership that is just 25% female and 8% BAME sunk in. And it would appear that the Academy got the message as it promised to double its female and minority membership by 2020. Now further evidence of this commitment has emerged with the announcement of new membership invitations to join AMPAS, 46% of which are female and 41% non-white.
But even if all the invitees accept, there’s a long way to go to reach AMPAS’s target. At least 400 new female members a year will be required, which is a lot more than were even invited this year. And the starting point of just 568 non-white members means that achieving a doubling of that number is not much of a challenge and would still leave that minority severely under-represented.
There has been some cautious support for the measures AMPAS are taking. But are they really doing enough to reflect diversity, and if not then what do you think they should be doing?