#OscarsBoycott: Obama speaks up

Since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it was altering membership rules in response to an outcry over the diversity of its voters and nominees, another uproar has erupted around Hollywood. Many academy members are protesting that the new measures unjustly scapegoat older academy members and imply they’re racist.
Fiery letters have poured into the academy. Trade magazines are littered with critical op-eds from members. Meanwhile, civil rights leaders and others say the academy’s actions didn’t go far enough. More steps are needed, they say, to make the Oscars and the industry more inclusive.
Reforms meant to calm a crisis seem to have only further enflamed it. This year’s February 28 Academy Awards are looking less like a glitzy gala and more like a battlefield.
“We all have to calm down a bit. The conversation has become unduly vitriolic,” says Rod Lurie, the writer-director of “Straw Dogs” and “The Contender” and a member of the academy’s directors’ branch. “Nobody in the academy should dignify any accusations of racism,” Lurie said in an interview, “but there obviously are biases that are created by the demographics of the academy.”
The typically slow-moving academy acted swiftly last week, holding an emergency meeting of its Board of Governors. In the wake of a second straight year of all-white acting nominees — and calls for a boycott of the Oscars broadcast — the 51-member board unanimously voted to revamp membership rules in an effort to change the makeup of the largely white, male and older association of some 7,000 exclusive members.

WE MUST STAND IN OUR POWER.

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