Will new membership fix Academy's diversity problem?


The Academy has been under increasing pressure to diversify its membership. For two years in a row, all the actor and actress nominees were white.

"I'm here at the Oscars, otherwise known as the White People's Choice Awards," Oscars 2016 host Chris Rock said in his opening monologue.

That's a perception the the Academy is hoping to change, thanks to a major expansion and diversification of its membership. But questions remain about whether this new roster is diverse enough to change the Oscar's racial makeup, reports Kevin Frazier of "Entertainment Tonight."

Oscars shine light on diversity, other issues... 04:07

Among the 683 new invitees are at least three many thought were overlooked in last year's voting -- "Creed" star Michael B. Jordan and that film's writer/director, Ryan Coogler and Idris Elba, star of "Beasts of No Nation." Before this announcement, the Academy membership was eight percent minorities.

This new pool would increase that to 11 percent. Still, some wonder whether that's enough to make a difference in Oscar voting.

"Just having people of color and LGBT people and women in the room and giving them the ability to vote doesn't really do much if you still have an overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly heterosexual body of people voting on the works," said Tre'vell Anderson of the Los Angeles Times.

The Academy's "diversity problem" was thrown into the spotlight in January. For a second straight year, all the acting nominees were white. Actress Jada Pinkett-Smith announced she was boycotting the Oscars ceremony.

The hash tag #OscarsSoWhite also started trending on Twitter and the protests against the Academy grew.

How the Oscars will try to fix diversity issu... 08:26

"So the Academy really had to show up and show out in terms of its list this year," Anderson said.

The Academy's Board of Governors laid out a five-year plan. It issued a statement, saying in part, "The Board's goal is to commit to doubling the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020." According to Variety, to meet that goal, the Academy would need to add 500 non-white members and 1,500 women.

"How do you feel about moving the organization forward after you made that promise? You stood in front of that furor at the nominations. How do you feel today?" Frazier asked Academy President Cheryl Boone.

"I feel great. And you know why? Because the organization, as a whole, is solidly behind this movement." Boone said.