The Academy Paints Its Membership Protocol to Prevent Another Whiteout

One could say that Spike Lee "did the right thing."

She’s Gotta Have It, Jungle Fever, When the Levees Broke, and Malcolm X are just a few of the culture-shaking and highly acclaimed productions by Spike Lee.

However, it’s possible the movement he sparked against the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) could be his greatest directorial undertaking — or otherwise another ‘Spike Lee Joint.’

When the Academy Awards announced its 20 nominees for best acting, not one was black or even a minority. It wouldn’t have mattered if there was nothing worthy of note, but when you have offerings, such as…

Idris Elba (“Beasts of No Nation”), Samuel L. Jackson (“The Hateful Eight”), Michael B. Jordan (“Creed”), Tessa Thompson (“Creed”), Mya Taylor (“Tangerine”), Benicio Del Toro (“Sicario”), Oscar Isaac (“Ex Machina”) and possibly Will Smith (“Concussion”), or anything from the movie “Straight Outta Compton”

…you can understand why Spike was a little perturbed. So, the #OscarsSoWhite movement took over social media causing AMPAS executives, including its black president Cheryl Boone Isaacs to take a hard look at the lack of color at the show.

Despite how Jada Pinkett Smith cloaked her egomaniacal hissy fit about her hubby getting snubbed for a mediocre performance into social activism, Spike Lee never stopped until someone paid attention.

Well, over the weekend, the Oscars are definitely paying up, so says a statement AMPAS put out directly.

“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”

In short, her goal is to double the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020. Another measure will be implemented sooner than that as “each new member’s voting status will last 10 years and will be renewed if that new member has been active in motion pictures during that decade.”

If she can put a kibosh on another outcry like this, Issacs will have achieved something great because it won’t be like the very transparent Rooney Rule in the NFL that demands minority head coaching candidates be the part of every interview. (Sure, it’s a dog-and-pony show but the NFL is all about show… no tell.)

Issacs will have established a system that recognizes all actors based on merit not message, skills not sociability, capturing feeling instead of currying favor. And then, she can work on the math skills of all those white folks too.

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