As we head into Oscar weekend, it's useful to remember who is actually voting for the Academy Awards. An LA Times report revealed in 2012 that the Academy was overwhelmingly white and male and old—which could help explain why female filmmakers rarely win awards and why people of color are vastly underrepresented at the Oscar podium.
In advance of this year's Oscar season, Lee and Low Books interviewed several filmmakers of color and put together this infographic about race at the Academy Awards:
Since those depressing statistics came out, the Academy has taken steps to diversify. This past year, they admitted 100 more people into the Academy than they usually do, stacking the new roster with younger folks and several notable people of color. Bitch film columnist Nijla Mu'min wrote about the new Academy recruits:
What this new roster can't be is a one-time apology for the years of exclusion, a kind of redemption song to get back into the good graces of the non-male, non-white general public. A roster like this should be the starting point of change, not the end. With these new voices in the mix, hopefully that sentiment will prevail.
Mu'min worried that the diversification efforts would just be a fad—I'll be interested to see whether the Oscars wind up overlooking actors of color this weekend, as the Golden Globes did.