Even though the Oscars may not be happening next year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has forged ahead and elected new members to its 2020-2021 Board of Governors, which resides over the 9000+ members of the Academy. For the Oscar nerds out there, the Academy is broken up into 17 branches each of which is represented by three governors, who serve three-year terms that are staggered making sure that one seat per branch is up for election each year, so joining the board is no easy feat. Per The Wrap, the six new elected members joining the board include Ava DuVernay, who defeated the incumbent board member Kimberly Peirce and [checks notes] alleged sexual harasser Brett Ratner to represent the Director’s Branch, and EGOT winner Whoopi Goldberg who beat out former governor Ed Begley Jr. as well as Richard Dreyfuss, James and Stacy Keach and Rita Wilson for her spot in the Actors Branch.
As for the overall make up of the Board of Governors, after the most recent election the number of female Academy governors increased from 25 to 26, and people of color increased from 11 to 12, including three governors-at-large appointed by the Academy president. Thus, of the 54 person board, approximately 48% are women and 22% are people of color, which, while an improvement from the year before, shows the Academy still has a way to go regarding representation. Hopefully, DuVernay and Goldberg’s election will help usher the Academy out of #OscarSoWhite and into a more equitable and diverse tomorrow. In any case, now would be an incredible time to celebrate DuVernay’s election by watching 13th or When They See Us on Netflix.