Hollywood Elsewhere and The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg have been suggesting for quite a while that one way to reduce the Academy deadwood factor would be to weight the ballots of those who are working currently or have worked within the last 10 years vs. those who haven’t worked for the last 10 or 20 years and are more or less coasting.
In response to the current OscarsSoWhite narrative, which indirectly suggests that old Academy farts aren’t voting for African-American actors and filmmakers as much as they could or perhaps should, the following letter was sent today to Academy members at 12:26 pm from Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs:
“Dear [Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] Member,
“I realize the last few days have been tough for all of us, with so many voices in the mix.
“Last night, the Board of Governors made a series of courageous steps.
“Beginning later this year, each new member’s voting status will last ten years, and will be renewed if that new member has been active in motion pictures during that decade. In addition, members will receive lifetime voting rights after three ten-year terms; or if they have won or been nominated for an Academy Award. We will apply these same standards retroactively to current members.
“In other words, if a current member has not been active in the last 10 years they can still qualify by meeting the other criteria. Those who do not qualify for active status will be moved to emeritus status. Emeritus members do not pay dues but enjoy all the privileges of membership, except voting.
“We have no reason to believe this will affect you receiving screeners. This will not affect voting for this year’s Oscars.
“We are confident this is a necessary step in the right direction and we appreciate your support with this endeavor as we work out the details in the coming weeks and months. We will be in touch with you regularly to update you on specific changes.
“We appreciate your support.
“Cheryl Boone Isaacs