Ava DuVernay, Al Sharpton Respond to Academy Diversity Changes
"One good step in a long, complicated journey for people of color + women artist ... Shame is a helluva motivator," tweets Ava DuVernay.
After mounting pressure to alter its voting and membership rules, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made a big announcement on Friday.
Faced with a growing boycott of the Feb. 28 Oscar ceremonies, the Academy unveiled several dramatic changes in its structure and voting regulations in an effort to promote diversity. Its goal, the AMPAS said, is to double the number of women and diverse members by 2020.
The move includes the addition of three new seats to its 51-person board of governors and new rules affecting voting status. In an effort to recruit new members, the Academy will launch what it is calling "an ambitious, global campaign to identify and recruit qualified new members who represent greater diversity."
Since the Jan. 14 nominations and the immediate #OscarsSoWhite fallout, hordes of Hollywood actors, filmmakers and executives have spoken out on social media.
After Friday's statement, Ava DuVernay, who directed Selma, was the first to respond in a series of tweets. "One good step in a long, complicated journey for people of color + women artist," she said, adding, "Shame is a helluva motivator."
Rev. Al Sharpton, who has been calling for a TV blackout of the Oscarcast, said he plans to consult with fellow civil-rights activists, and April Reign, creator of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, told The Hollywood Reporter that she is "encouraged" by the announcement (but still won't be tuning into the show.)
Read the reactions below, updating live:
Shame is a helluva motivator.— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) January 22, 2016
We've all felt shame even when we didn't believe we were wrong. It's the fact that EVERYONE ELSE thinks you're wrong. Fix it mode kicks in.— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) January 22, 2016
Marginalized artists have advocated for Academy change for DECADES. Actual campaigns. Calls voiced FROM THE STAGE. Deaf ears. Closed minds.— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) January 22, 2016
Consulting with fellow civil rights leaders on the announcements from the Academy today. Stay tuned.— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) January 22, 2016
I'm floored. Thank you for sharing the news. I wouldn't have known for hours. Thank you so much for the support. #OscarsSoWhite— April (@ReignOfApril) January 22, 2016