You never know what someone will say when under the cloak of anonymity – the only place safe enough to say what you really think without fear of personal or professional repercussions. Speaking with The Daily Beast, one anonymous voter for the upcoming Academy Awards refused to toe the politically-correct line to daringly state that diversity problems are overblown.
“When the #OscarsSoWhite backlash happened, we were all thrown under the bus by our own Academy for seemingly being biased,” the voter told the outlet. “So they added a lot more members, making sure it was diverse. But what also came out of that was an extra fringe benefit of youth. Suddenly an entire group of voters was plugged into social media in a way the older voters were not.”
Despite those reforms, however, the voter noted that people are still unhappy with the nominations. The Oscar voter ultimately believed that the controversy buried something that was an industry-wide problem rather than an Academy problem.
“So now comes this year, where the grumblings are happening again, but this time it’s harder to throw the Academy members under the bus because we are more diverse now,” the voter continued. “I think it points to what the other issue was that got buried under the controversy, and that is the need to develop more projects that are richer in roles for actors of color and even stronger directing opportunities for women.”
After the Oscar nominations were released last week, social media went abuzz over the lack of women directors in the Best Director category, especially Greta Gerwig for “Little Women.”
Back in 2016, when the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag rocked social media in response to the absence of minority actors nominated that year, the Academy caved to public pressure and instituted several reforms in order to make the voting bloc more youthful and diverse. Here are just a few that the Academy described at the time:
- Each new member’s voting status will last 10 years, and will be renewed if that new member has been active in motion pictures during that decade. In addition, members will receive lifetime voting rights after three ten-year terms; or if they have won or been nominated for an Academy Award.
- At the same time, the Academy will supplement the traditional process in which current members sponsor new members by launching an ambitious, global campaign to identify and recruit qualified new members who represent greater diversity.
- In order to immediately increase diversity on the Board of Governors, the Academy will establish three new governor seats that will be nominated by the President for three-year terms and confirmed by the Board.
- The Academy will also take immediate action to increase diversity by adding new members who are not Governors to its executive and board committees where key decisions about membership and governance are made.
The Oscars will once again be going hostless this year, a trend that began in 2019 when comedian Kevin Hart was forced to drop out after members of the LGBTQ community resurfaced several offensive tweets and jokes he made years earlier.