- The Washington Times - Friday, January 22, 2016

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Thursday night to approve significant measures to increase the diversity of its membership, announcing a goal to double the number of women and “diverse members” of the Academy by 2020.

The Academy said it is taking immediate steps to increase its diversity by adding three new seats to the Board of Governors, which will be nominated by the president for three-year terms and confirmed by the board.

“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said Friday afternoon in a statement. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”

The Academy will also “supplement the traditional process in which current members sponsor new members by launching an ambitious, global campaign to identify and recruit qualified new members who represent greater diversity,” the group said in a press release

Beginning later this year, each new member’s voting status will last 10 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 10-year terms; or if they have been nominated for an Academy Award.

The announcement comes after a growing number of high-profile celebrities called for boycotting this year’s Oscars ceremony for the lack of diversity among acting nominees.

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