No Kobe, No Problem: Oscars Academy’s Class of 2018 on Track to Be as Big and Diverse as Last 2 Years’

TheWrap | 6/22/2018 | Steve Pond
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While one committee was deciding that Kobe Bryant shouldn’t be invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences four months after he won an Oscar for the short film “Dear Basketball,” other AMPAS committees have been trying to determine just how generous they ought to be in finding prospective new members.

And in many cases, they have been faced with a tricky decision: Stick to the written guidelines or use the nebulous escape clauses built into Academy rules to invite people who might not otherwise qualify?

Pitfalls - Time - Academy - Male - Hundreds

Such are the pitfalls at a time when the Academy is trying hard to become less overwhelmingly white and male, by inviting hundreds of increasingly diverse new members to join the organization.

“The new attitude seems to be, ‘Let everybody f—ing in,'” said one member of a branch membership committee on Wednesday. The comment came around the same time that the Cartoon Brew website broke the news that a committee had decided not to approve the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch’s recommendation that Bryant be invited to join, on the grounds that he had not shown evidence of “a larger career” in showbiz beyond “Dear Basketball.”

Committees - Academy - Branches - Lists - Members

As committees in the 17 Academy branches came up with lists of prospective new members over the past two months, though, members who participated in the decisions told TheWrap that the focus has been on finding lots of new members, whether or not they strictly meet the written requirements.

Each branch has its own requirements for membership. Actors, for instance, must have a minimum of three film credits in scripted theatrical films, one of which has been released in the past five years. But each branch’s rules also contain caveats that allow invitations to be extended to Oscar nominees and to those who have “achieved unique distinction, earned special...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TheWrap
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