In an effort to provide the shadowy cabal known as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences with some much-needed transparency, AMPAS executive director Bruce Davis agreed to be questioned under hot interrogation lights about his organization's mysterious recruiting methods by the New York Times. Facing waning ratings for the cash cow that is their annual Oscar telecast — last year's broadcast was famously their lowest rated of all time — AMPAS has gone on the defensive to combat the perception that its voting branch is too old and too conservative. In fact, the opposite seems to be true; the Academy instituted a new, stricter admissions policy way back in 2004 with the intent of making the membership younger, hipper, and more culturally diverse (more Benetton, less Brooks Brothers). However, it seems that they may have gone too far, as rumblings have begun that the "new" criteria is too strict. No longer is an Oscar nomination sufficient enough to earn you an AMPAS bid (case in point: sexually ambiguous buzz magnet Ellen Page); nowadays, potential AMPAS nominees must take to brownnosing current members in order to gain admittance. Namely, The Lives of Others director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's composed this gratuitously treacly ode to the Academy: "Every time I walk through the doors of the academy building, I experience what I would imagine a pious Catholic could feel as he walks through the portal of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome" (ew). However, the fact of the matter is that Vulture doesn't care who they do or don't let in at this point, so long as they nominate Wall-E for Best Picture!
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