The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ recent election may yield impactful change. For the first time, its Board of Governors now has 26 women and 11 people of color on its 54-person board, including Ava DuVernay.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, DuVernay, who defeated incumbent Kimberly Peirce, will serve a three-year term to represent the directors’ branch. She is one of six who will take new seats on the board, including Debra Zane, Stephen Rivkin, Linda Flowers, Lynette Howell Taylor, and Rob Bredow. Also, Whoopi Goldberg was among the ten members re-elected to their seats.
“Thank you to the members of the Directors Branch of @TheAcademy,” the “Selma” director tweeted. “Life is a funny, fascinating thing. You never know what’s around the corner.”
Thank you to the members of the Directors Branch of @TheAcademy.
Life is a funny, fascinating thing. You never know what’s around the corner. pic.twitter.com/y1CWtguSO2
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 10, 2020
The filmmaker’s work is a tour de force in the industry and of the utmost importance to the Black community, notably acclaimed series “13th” and “When They See Us,” both of which tackled systemic racism. In addition, her 2014 snub for “Selma” ignited the #OscarSoWhite, a social-media movement born to call out the lack of diversity in Hollywood.
While she works to right one broken system, DuVernay will continue to drive The Law Enforcement Accountability Project (LEAP), an initiative that will fund projects in order to disrupt the code of silence around the police abuse and murder of Black people.
“This is a broken system, some people will say,” she told The Washington Post. “I will say it was built this way. And we, as taxpayers who pay these people’s salaries, should at least be able to speak their names. Why have we agreed not to mention them? It’s much different than a serial killer or a school shooter. These are people who work for us. They have broken the law, they have broken their oath, and we should be able to talk about that.”