“The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced its new Board of Governors on Friday, adding three women to the 51-person board for a total of 17.
The organization that gives out the Oscars has repeatedly come under fire for lack of diversity. According to the LA Times, the group was 94% white and 77% male (77%) in 2012. And the lack of women and minorities recognized with awards last yeargarnered much criticism, particularly in the directing category, where Ava DuVernay was widely regarded as snubbed for her work on Selma.
The Board of Governors is a subset of the Academy, responsible for overseeing its strategy, financial health, mission and—critically—for deciding which potential new members are permitted to join the larger organization. The board election is private, but a report by Hollywood Reporterrevealed in advance that 27 women and seven minorities were vying for the 67 governor’s spots. DuVernay, who joined the Academy in 2013, and Kimberly Peirce (Stop Loss, Boys Don’t Cry) both ran for the open governor’s seat in the directing branch, but the board re-elected incumbent Michael Mann to another 3 year term.
Two of the four first-time governors (the others were incumbents) are women: Documentarian Rory Kennedy and Lois Burwell, representing makeup artists and hairstylists. The third “new” woman is film editor Carol Littleton, who has sat on the board in the past…”