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OSCAR Voters Voice Anger Over Diversity Push: 'Bullshit'...

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The Hollywood Reporter

Academy members are reacting with a range of responses — from joy to resignation to anger — to Friday's announcement that the organization plans to restrict voting privileges to "active" members in response to the lack of diversity amongst this year's Oscar nominations. Under the new rules, members who have not worked across a span of three decades after gaining membership will lose the right to cast Oscar ballots unless they've been nominated for an Oscar themselves.

Supporters have been most open with their reactions. Ava DuVernay, a member of the directors branch who controversially did not receive a directing nomination for Selma last year, tweeted: "One good step in a long, complicated journey for people of color + women artists. Shame is a helluva motivator. We've all felt shame even when we didn't believe we were wrong. It's the fact that EVERYONE ELSE thinks you're wrong. Fix it mode kicks in. Marginalized artists have advocated for Academy change for DECADES. Actual campaigns. Calls voiced FROM THE STAGE. Deaf ears. Closed minds. Whether it's shame, true feelings, or being dragged kicking + screaming, just get it done. Because the alternative isn't pretty."

However, of the wide cross section of members with whom The Hollywood Reporter spoke on Friday and Saturday, far more were displeased with the move than pleased with it, insisting that the Academy's older members were being unfairly scapegoated.

"Notes from the soon-to-be-retired peanut gallery," was the subject line of an email I received from one longtime member of the writers branch whose credits all came in the 1970s. "I'm an obvious candidate," he acknowledged, "which does not bother me too much. But I have voted, often, for Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Samuel L. Jackson and other people of color. And such a procedure does raise the question of the nature of the Academy: is its membership based on merit and accomplishment or in-tune-ness with all that is currently popular?"

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