Academy to take ‘dramatic steps’ to bring diversity to Oscars

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says it will take “dramatic steps” to alter the makeup of its membership, responding to widespread criticism that the nominees for this year’s Oscars are predominately white.

“I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion,” Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement. “This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership.”

Isaacs said the Academy would conduct a review of its membership recruitment in order to “bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond.” She provided no specific details on what actions the Academy intends to take, but said the mandate for the next Oscars are to ensure inclusion across genders, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

“As many of you know, we have implemented changes to diversify our membership in the last four years. But the change is not coming as fast as we would like. We need to do more, and better and more quickly,” Isaacs said. “This isn’t unprecedented for the Academy. In the ‘60s and ‘70s it was about recruiting younger members to stay vital and relevant. In 2016, the mandate is inclusion in all of its facets: gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.”

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