Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said the organization was “committed to seeking out diversity of voice and opinion” in a weekend interview with the Associated Press. According to a Los Angeles Times survey, the Academy’s membership was 94 percent white and 77 percent male, with a median age of 62, in 2012. Those demographics have not changed much since — a reality that was felt when Selma’s Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo were snubbed for Best Director and Best Actor this year.
Issacs (who happens to be the Academy’s first black president), however, wasn’t about to throw her membership under the bus, saying the actors nominated are at the “top of their game” and pointing out that Selma did receive a Best Picture nomination. “It matters that we pay attention to, again, the diversity of voice and opinion and experience, and that it doesn’t slide anywhere except for forward,” she said. “And maybe this year is more just about let’s kick it in even more.” This echoes comments she made to Vulture after the nominations were announced where she said it was good to have all of this “chitter-chatter.”