Although they say there is no public list of the 5,765 members of the Academy of Arts and Sciences
, the LA Times
has produced an interactive chart of the membership. They say, for example, that 54% of members are over 60 years old and only 2% are under 40. 77% are male, and 94% are white.http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/movies/academy/
I don't know if I agree with Doodler that this info is sad and explains a lot.
I think it is interesting, but any group that awards film prizes is subject to
question and always are, especially with the advent of the internet!
Anyway, I think the most troublesome aspects of this info and the accompanying
articles is the way they award memberships in it and the fact that, as the article
states: Academy memberships don't expire
This one line explains why the membership skews to nearly half of the people
being over 60. I think that their membership rules should be changed. They
don't necessarily have to expire, but maybe they could be limited as to what
they get to vote on if they aren't currently working or don't have working
credits for awhile. They could vote on the best film and the category their
membership corresponds to, perhaps, instead of EVERY category.
I mean, what does a visual artist who may not have worked in 30 years know
what it takes to work in that environment today, for example?
The other problem is that one of the criteria you can be admitted to the academy
is just the recommendation of two other people who are members. So, according
to the article Lorenzo Llamas was "sponsored" by his parents back in 1981 or
something like that. (His parents being Fernando Llamas and Esther WIlliams.)
Meatloaf was sponsored by Dennis Quaid and someone else when he did the
Sweet Home Alabama film or some film with Alabama in the title. That's all it took?
The current academy president, Tom Sherak, says that admission is granted on
a person's body of work, so he was asked why Rooney Mara was admitted in
2011 when her credits were miniscule and the best were a lead in a remake of
Nightmare on Elm Street and two lines in The Social Network. This year she
happened to get a lead actress nomination so former academy president Sid
Ganis said about her admission: "The actors branch somehow knew, divined,
that this was a talented person whose work, of course, they had seen or she
wouldn't have become a member, and then who went on to prove it."
That is a B.S. answer in my opinion. Rooney Mara said she had "no idea" why
the invite was extended to her, when she was asked at the recent ampas
Even if you take Ganis' word for her inclusion of "divined" intent, what does that
say about the ampas memberships of Steve Guttenberg, Cheech Marin, Judge
Reinhold, Paul "Pee-wee Herman" Reubens, Vin Diesel, Jet Li and, yes, Meatloaf?
They all vote on who wins all the awards! But Woody Allen and George Lucas do
not! As the article explains:Of course, the group cannot force people to join. Allen, a 23-time Oscar
nominee and three-time winner, and Lucas, a four-time nominee and recipient
of the academy's Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, have declined membership.
(OBSERVATION:There was no statistic in the article of how many GAY members
As for diversity, this year's actor nominee Demian Bechir says that there'd be more
opportunities for latinos if more latinos were members of the academy. Not if
they are the likes of Lorenzo Llamas and Cheech Marin, if you ask me.
The kinds of things I mentioned bother me more than the age or diversity of
the members. I've seen the Kid's Choice and Teen Choice and People's Choice
Awards. They are not any better, unless you are h e a v i l y into vampires.