American Academy answers questions about its new initiatives

American Academy answers questions about its new initiatives

Having adopted new rules about how members retain eligibility to vote for the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Monday posted a series of answers to the most frequently asked questions about the new moves on its website, The Hollywood Reporter says.


"We're not excluding older members," the Academy said, going on to add, "These rules are not about age." It went on to say that the rules have been designed "to strengthen, uphold, and maintain the credibility of the Oscars."


In its Jan. 22 announcement of changes to its membership and governance rules, the Academy said that among its new initiatives to promote diversity, it would review each member's voting status every 10 years. Members who are active in the film industry will have their voting rights renewed for another 10-year term. But only members who have held voting rights for three 10-year terms or who have been nominated for or won an Oscar will be granted lifetime voting rights.


The initial announcement did not explain how the Academy would determine if a member is "active" in the industry, raising concerns among some older and/or retired members that they might lose their voting rights.


Lorenza Munoz, managing director for membership and awards, sent out an email to the Academy's membership on Monday in which she explained, "These new measures are meant to uphold our longstanding mission that Oscars are voted on by active members in the motion picture industry." The email included a link to a FAQ page on the website that offered more detail on how the new initiatives would work.


Saying that the new voting regulations were not designed to exclude older members because of their age, the Academy insisted, "many veteran Academy members will retain voting privileges."