Hollywood figures have already begun to respond to the Academy’s Friday announcement that it would make major changes to promote diversity.
Director Ava DuVernay was the first to weigh in. The “Selma” director tweeted, “One good step in a long, complicated journey for people of color + women artists.” She added, “Shame is a helluva motivator. … 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.”
DuVernay went on, “Marginalized artists have advocated for Academy change for DECADES. Actual campaigns. Calls voiced FROM THE STAGE. Deaf ears. Closed minds.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences approved a series of major changes in terms of voting and recruitment, also adding three new seats to the 51-person board — all part of a goal to double the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020. The changes were approved by the board Thursday night in an emergency meeting.
Academy member Bruce Feldman suggested that members of the Academy should have been consulted before such steps were taken.
Chaz Ebert, Roger Ebert’s widow and editor of RogerEbert.com, said, “The Academy took the first step. Now let’s have the studios, production companies, agencies, unions & financiers follow suit for diversity.”
Other notables responded to Charlotte Rampling and Michael Caine’s assertions that the backlash against the lack of diversity in this year’s nominations was actually “racist to whites.”