Saturday, May 18, 2024

Oscars News: Motion Picture Academy Will Cut Back on New Members This Year After Huge Growth Spurt


It’s time to slow down and reflect.

The membership of the Motion Picture Academy has grown by a third in the last few years. So this year, they will invite half as many members to join the group. Membership is already up to over 9,000 from just over 6,000 in the last five years.

It makes sense to pause. First of all, the Academy is now extremely multi-cultural and multi-gender. Invitations in the last four years went to people of every background, resulting in this year’s beautiful crop of nominees in all categories. A corner has been turned, certainly.

Second, there are only so many people of any background who could qualify for memhership with a filmmaking or film-centric resume. Hovering around 9,000 would seem right before you start bending the rules to fit other arts disciplines.

“As we look to the future growth and goals of the Academy, we need to scale appropriately so we can continue to give the personal service our members have come to expect and appreciate,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.  “We remain focused on cultivating a membership body that reflects our diverse film community and the world around us.”

This year’s Oscars, by the way, were an anomaly because of the pandemic. The new crop of films for 2022 will be big, the casts will be diverse, lots of stars and box office, and a big audience when the Oscars return in the winter.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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