Every year we all sit and watch the Academy Awards to see who is deemed to be the best of year in the world of Hollywood.  Unlike the People's Choice Awards and the MTV Movie Awards, the common public has absolutely no say on who wins an Oscar, it is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  But who is part of the AMPAS?  Well, sometimes people who win don't even know who voted for them.  The AMPAS has never published an official membership list, which is said to have more than 5,700 members.  Recently, the LA Times looked into the Academy to discover the make up of the members.  They were able to confirm the identities of 89% of the members, and found the demographics of the Academy to be very one-sided,

  • 94% are White.
  • 6% are "Other".
  • 77% are Male.
  • 23% are Female.
  • 64% have never been nominated for an Oscar.
  • 14% have won an Oscar.
  • 19% have been nominated but didn't win.
  • The median age is 62.
  • 14% are under the age of 50.
  • Erik Estrada, Meat Loaf, Vin Diesel, Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Reubens, Steve Guttenberg, Jet Li, Lorenzo Lamas, and Cheech Marin are all members of the Academy.
  • Woody Allen, George Lucas, and Viggo Mortensen have either not been offered or declined membership to the Academy.

A common complaint over the years about the Academy is the lack of diversity in winners and presenters, and the racial/gender split of the Academy voters not accurately representing the racial/gender split of the common movie audience.  As of last year's award show, only one woman haswon "Best Director" in the history of the Oscars, and less than 4% of acting winners have been African American.  There was not a single black male persenter at last year's award show, prompting previous nominee Samual L. Jackson to tweet,

"It's obvious there's not ONE Black male actor in Hollywood that's able to read a teleprompter, or that's 'hip enuf,' for the new academy demographic!"

Actor and Director Bill Duke has been more vocal with his frustrations with the Academy, saying,

"The black community sees the academy as an entity that ignores the needs, wants, desires and representation of black directors, producers, actors and writers. Whether it is true or not, that is how it's perceived — as an elitist group with no concern or regard for the minority community and industry. And there doesn't seem to be any desire to change that perception."

With a mass majority of Academy voters being over 50, another criticism has been a lack of enthusiasm towards films geared at younger audiences, such as "The Dark Knight" and "The Social Network".  Several have suggested that "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" only received a nomination for Best Picture this year because it was geared exactly at the majority of the Academy, middle-aged white men.

Its been obvious for a long time that the Oscars were never about who was truly best.  With the reveal of the make up of Academy, how to do you feel about the Academy Awards?

Via the LA Times