Thanks for your comment. Per the Academy website, last year’s invited new members were “683 artists and executives who distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.” This wasn’t part of a “diversity quota,” rather it was a much needed change in the culture. This usually happens at companies and organizations as they grow and evolve. Following last year’s nominations, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said that they had already been implementing changes to diversify their membership over the last four years and it is not unprecedented for the Academy to improve on their recruitment practices.
Per Isaacs: “In the ’60s and ’70s it was about recruiting younger members to stay vital and relevant. In 2016, the mandate is inclusion in all of its facets: gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.” There are a lot of hard working people in this industry who are not members of the Academy. These improvements in recruitment practices help to encourage and ensure more of these people get a fair shot at membership like anyone else.
As I mentioned in my piece, the Oscars can serve as a metric for where we are as a society and culture. As far as nominations go, we can see that diversity and inclusion are here to stay. But artists should be recognized for their work, not for their otherness.
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. You can learn more about the Academy Awards here: http://www.oscars.org/