Thursday, July 9, 2020

Academy Awards continue to open to women and minorities

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It’s a recurring criticism in Hollywood in recent years: too masculine and too white, the Academy of Oscars would help perpetuate a film industry that forgets diversity. But the organization has promised to evolve in depth. This is reflected in the list, published Tuesday June 30, of the 819 new members invited to join its ranks this year, made up of 45% women and 36% ethnic minorities. “Underrepresented in the organization”.

Among the new arrivals are the actress Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians), Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Eva Longoria, or the French filmmakers Ladj Ly (Wretched) and Jérémy Clapin (I lost my body).

The Academy has also recruited actress Adèle Haenel, symbol of a new impetus from the #metoo movement in France since she accused, in November 2019, the director Christophe Ruggia of“Repeated touching” when she was a teenager. The star of Portrait of the girl on fire was also illustrated by leaving the room of the Cesar ceremony with a crash after the announcement that the award for best director went to Roman Polanski, who has become for many a symbol of unpunished sexual assault.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Césars 2020: the rowdy evening of the “big family” of French cinema

Objectives exceeded

In 2016, after several years of scathing criticism, the Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences announced a doubling of the number of women and members of ethnic minorities by 2020. « Che two objectives were exceeded “, she rejoices Tuesday in a statement.

If the new members accept (which is almost always the case), the proportion of women in the Academy will increase to 33%, against 25% in 2015.

Seven of the seventeen professional categories represented at the Oscars this year recruited more women than men, said the Academy in its press release. This is particularly the case in the category of actors, whose vintage 2020 sees the arrival of Zendaya, Zazie Beetz (Joker), the next James Bond girl Ana de Armas or Yalitza Aparicio, Mexican native revealed in Roma which had earned her to compete for an Oscar for “best actress”.

As to “Underrepresented minorities”, in other words all the members not being White, their number tripled to pass from 554 in 2015 to 1 787 this year, that is to say 19% of the manpower. In order to meet its objectives, the Academy has become much more international in recent years, tripling its foreign members who are now more than 2,100 (out of just under 10,000 in total).

The previous “Parasite”

Only the members of the Academy can choose the Oscar winners and many believe that it is this more open recruitment that has allowed this year the coronation of Parasite, first feature film in a foreign language to win the prize for “best film”.

The team of the film “Parasite” celebrates the Oscar for best film, on February 9 in Los Angeles.

A dozen members of the South Korean film team were also invited by the Academy on Tuesday. Its director, Bong Joon-ho, was already one of them. Almost half of these newcomers are not American and represent 68 different nationalities.

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To be more diverse, the Academy also had to significantly increase its enrollment, which has grown from around 6,000 to almost 10,000 today. While part of American society is examining its racist past in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a 40-something black man asphyxiated by a white police officer, the Oscars also recently announced that they would new rules to increase the diversity of its selection.

The World with AFP

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