The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is giving Oscar voting privileges to talent agents.
The organization announced on Monday that the Board of Governors voted to reclassify the membership status of Artists’ Representatives (agents) from Associates to Members-at-Large. As Members-at-Large, agents will now have voting privileges.
This reclassification will apply to 111 current members and also those agents being invited to join the Academy in 2020. The list of new members being invited to join the Academy in 2020 has not been released yet.
In 2019, half of the 842 new members invited to join the Academy were women and 29% of the new invitees were people of color.
The Academy is under pressure to further diversity and inclusion within its ranks. Earlier this month, the annual board of governors election resulted in an increase of female Academy governors from 25 to 26. People of color increased from 11 to 12, including the three governors-at-large.
The Academy is comprised of 17 branches and and two membership status categories, Members-at-Large and Associates, to accommodate individuals whose work in the motion picture industry is not specific to one of the branches.
The Academy recently announced that the 2021 Oscars have been postponed from Feb. 29 to April 25, 2021.
On June 12, the Academy announced “Academy Aperture 2025,” the latest efforts to increase diversity in the film community, including plans for a more inclusive Oscar race.
To further more diverse representation at the Oscars, the Academy and the Producers Guild of America (PGA), have created a task force of industry leaders “to develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility by July 31, 2020.
Also, beginning with the 94th Academy Awards for 2021 films, the best picture category will be set at 10 nominees, rather than changing the number each year.