“We’ve been having these discussions for a while,” Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said Saturday night at the Producers Guild Awards in Los Angeles. “The Academy has been more committed in the last three or four years in diversifying our membership and including all sorts of people: young, international, African-American, Latino, women, all across the board. That has been a goal of ours for a while. So it’s not that it’s really new, it’s just that now that we’ve come out and actually are speaking about it.”
Facing high-profile boycotts of the Academy Awards and widespread criticism by movie fans on social media after a second year of only white acting nominees, Isaacs last week unveiled a bold plan to double the number of women and “diverse members” by 2020.
While acknowledging problems within the Academy, the organization’s officials have also called out the rest of Hollywood — from studios to talent agencies.
Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said at the Producers Guild Awards: “We’re … able to take our leadership role in this community, and say, ‘Look, we’re committed. We’re committed for our house to be in order. We’re committed to have our house reflect the best of the best, and the best of the best means a diverse pool of talent.”