Talent Agents Will Now Be Voting for the Oscars
On June 28th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors voted to define talent agents as “Members-at-Large,” giving Oscar voting privileges to talent agents.
The Academy has 17 branches, including actors, crafts, documentaries, directors, and writers. There are two membership status categories, Members-at-Large and Associates. Agents were previously classified as Associates and barred from voting, because their work was traditionally viewed as a less direct aspect of the movie-making process.
This reclassification will apply to 111 current members and also those agents being invited to join the Academy in 2020. The list of new members being invited to join the Academy in 2020 has not been released yet.
In 2019, half of the 842 new members invited to join the Academy were women and 29% of the new invitees were people of color.
The Academy is under pressure to further diversity and inclusion within its ranks. Earlier this month, the annual board of governors election resulted in an increase of female Academy governors from 25 to 26. People of color increased from 11 to 12.
The 2021 Oscars have been postponed to April 25.