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Al Sharpton, Ava DuVernay React to Academy Diversity Purge

After the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced a series of new measures to increase diversity Friday, including the purging of old members, Rev. Al Sharpton and Selma director were among those weighing in on Twitter.

After the Academy nominated exclusively white actors in top four categories for a second straight year, Sharpton initially called for a national “tune out” of the awards show in protest.

The announcement of the nominees has resulted in numerous prominent entertainment figures vowing to boycott the star-studded Feb. 28 event and telecast.

As revealed on Friday, the Academy’s new measures will add three new members to its 51-member Board of Governors and will add new non-Board members to its executive and Board committees, in a move to “allow new members an opportunity to become more active in Academy decision-making.”

The measures will remove voting privileges from older Academy members and aggressively recruit new voting members “who represent greater diversity.”

Academy members will also now receive voting status for ten years, a which is a significant change from the current lifetime voting rights status afforded to members. Voters’ ten-year terms will only be renewed if they are “active” in in film within that decade, and members can only achieve lifetime voting status after being considered active for three consecutive ten-year terms.

“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement.

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