Movies | October 11, 2017 5:00 am

The Impact of #OscarsSoWhite on Hollywood’s Old Guard

What is an award-winning movie in the eyes of young, diverse Oscar voters?

Over the last two years, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has faced enduring criticism of its all-white slates of acting nominees. In the face of this criticism, the Academy has invited 1,457 new people to join, reports Vanity Fairwhich could add some 20 percent to its membership rolls. It could also make this the largest, most demographically diverse class in its 90-year history, according to Vanity Fair. 

But as Hollywood’s exclusive club becomes more inclusive, stars are left to wonder, what movies are award-winning in the eyes of this new group?

Leslie Jones, Dwayne Johnson, and Adam Driver were added to the Academy in June, as well as less-known artists, such as Anand Patwardhan, a documentarian in India, Zhao Xiaoding, a cinematographer in China, and Ildikó Enyedi, a director in Hungary, according to Vanity Fair. 

There are films in the running this year that could see their “fortunes shift” based on the new Academy members. For example, Vanity Fair writes that international members might be drawn to Angelina Jolie’s Cambodia-set war drama, First They Killed My Father, while new members of color might vote for Jordan Peele’s scary social commentary Get Out or Dee Rees’s Mississippi-set film, Mudbound. The increase in women might mean more vote for Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone, or Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins.

Companies wishing to distribute the films now much think about which languages to subtitle the films in. And the old locations for events, like screenings on L.A.’s West Side or New York’s Upper East Side, seem narrow when the audiences are also in Beijing, Harlem, or Echo Park.

One award strategist told Vanity Fair that the Academy forgot to think about the administration and logistical issues that apply to this, such as, how are people going to see the films?