Who comprises the 5765 voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has long been shrouded in mystery, their identities kept a closely guarded secret. A study by the Los Angeles Times, found that 94% were white, 77% men and their average age was 62, with only 14 per cent under 50. Black and Hispanic voters accounted for only two per cent each.
Even inside the movie industry, intense speculation surrounds the academy’s composition and how that influences who gets nominated for and wins Oscars. The organization does not publish a membership list.
“I have to tell you,” said academy member Viola Davis, nominated for lead actress this year for “The Help.” “I don’t even know who is a member of the academy.”
A Los Angeles Times study found that academy voters are markedly less diverse than the moviegoing public, and even more monolithic than many in the film industry may suspect. Oscar voters are nearly 94% Caucasian and 77% male, The Times found. Blacks are about 2% of the academy, and Latinos are less than 2%.
Oscar voters have a median age of 62, the study showed. People younger than 50 constitute just 14% of the membership.
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