Academy Awards Voters Are Extremely Old and White

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Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM

click to enlarge Jennifer Lawrence on the red carpet. - MINGLE MEDIATV
  • Mingle MediaTV
  • Jennifer Lawrence on the red carpet.
Ah, Hollywood, home of the Prius-driving liberal, Kumbaya views of diversity, and the Obama fundraiser. You can't really get any further left and, as such, politically correct, than the industry of lights, camera, and action.

But if you look at the true ethnic makeup of the film industry, you might call it all talk, no action, because, if the voting membership of the motion picture academy is any sign, it's white, male and old:

The Los Angeles Times today got a rare look at the ethnicity and age range of the 5,765 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which will hand out its Academy Awards in Hollywood next weekend.

The money stats?

click to enlarge ALAN LIGHT
  • Alan Light

-Voting membership is 94 percent white.

-It's 77 percent male.

-The median age of a voting member is ... 62!

-People younger than 50 made up 14 percent of the membership.

-African-Americans make up 2 percent of the voting members.

-Latinos, who comprise one of every two people in Los Angeles, make up less than 2 percent.

Whew. Can you say country club? Augusta National accepted its first African- American member in 1990 and still seems as old and white as the academy.

The academy actually seems to be lagging several decades behind the coal mining industry in its acceptance of women.

About 4.54 percent of coal miners are women, and 5.71 are minorities, making the academy slightly more progressive than coal when it comes to female representation.

And the median age of the voting membership is strange in an industry in which a 40-year-old actress or writer is considered over-the-hill.

Hollywood values the youth demographic so much that its age craze shapes its movie production and TV ratings targets.

Perhaps the voters and the suits who get things produced are two different groups. In any case, it seems, few of them are women or minorities.

Perhaps the academy could use a little ... affirmative action?

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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