Brow Beat

The Academy Continues Its Response to #OscarsSoWhite, Announces New Board Committee Roles

A step in the right direction.

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

This year’s Oscars may be long over with, but luckily, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences still appears to be wrestling with the embarrassing residue of the #OscarsSoWhite backlash. On Tuesday, the academy announced that three new governors have been appointed to join its 51-seat board: Reginald Hudlin (who co-produced the 2016 Oscars ceremony) is added to the director’s branch, Gregory Nava (El Norte) to the writer’s branch, and Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda) to the short films and feature animation branch.

Additionally, six other filmmakers and artists have been appointed by the board to oversee specific aspects of the academy, including producer Effie Brown, who came to prominence last fall during a controversial season of Project Greenlight, and actor Gael García Bernal.

While it’s definitely worth reiterating that the academy is only part of the larger issue of Hollywood’s lack of inclusion on and off screen, these active moves on the organization’s part are certainly a step in the right direction. Still, this announcement comes in the wake of a public letter addressed to the academy on behalf of two dozen of its Asian members—including George Takei and Ang Lee—criticizing host Chris Rock’s terrible jokes at the community’s expense. The academy’s response: “The Academy appreciates the concerns stated, and regrets that any aspect of the Oscar telecast was offensive. We are committed to doing our best to ensure that material in future shows be more culturally sensitive.” There’s still plenty of work to be done, to be sure.

Read all of Slate’s coverage of the 2016 Oscars.