( 4UMF NEWS ) Academy Adds Three Minority Governors:
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is starting to address the Oscars’ dearth of diversity. The Academy announced Tuesday it was adding three new governors: African-American director Reginald Hudlin, Latino writer Gregory Nava and Asian-American animator Jennifer Yuh Nelson. Their three-year terms begin immediately.
The Academy has faced harsh criticism for the lack of diversity in nominations in the Academy Awards. Social media commentators raised awareness of the issue with the hashtag, #OscarsSoWhite. There hasn’t been a person of color nominated in the top acting categories in the last two years.
Making matters worse, it was revealed that the Academy’s 6,000-plus members are 94% white and the 51-member Board of Governors only had two minority members.
“I’m proud of the steps we have taken to increase diversity,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “However, we know there is more to do as we move forward to make this a more inclusive organization.”
The Board also appointed additional Academy members to each of the six Board committees that provide oversight to specific Academy areas.
The announcements came on the same day that a group of 25 Academy members of Asian descent sent a letter to the objecting jokes made during February’s Oscar broadcast.
“We are writing … to express our complete surprise and disappointment with the targeting of Asians at the 88th Oscars telecast and its perpetuation of racist stereotypes,” said the letter, which was signed by members including director Ang Lee, actors Sandra Oh and George Takei.
The show, which featured a number of racially-charged jokes surrounding the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, included a pair of jokes which were seen as offensive toward Asian-Americans.
“If you watched the Oscars the word diversity seemed to mean black and white. That was it,” Takei told the Los Angeles Times Tuesday. “We were absolutely aghast to see they compounded that by having a joke about Asian American children. How insensitive and how ignorant.”
A spokesperson for the Academy said it understood the “concerns stated, and regrets that any aspect of the Oscars telecast was offensive,” according to CNN.
The spokesperson also said the Academy will strive to be more “culturally sensitive” in the future.
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