Oscars voters are 94% white, the rest are Erik Estrada and Lorenzo Lamas

This week being Oscars week, the LA Times recently published a demographic investigation of who actually makes up the Academy that votes on them. Not surprisingly, the voting membership was found to be overwhelmingly old and white. Like, REALLY old and white, old and white enough to be excited about Billy Crystal hosting this year, almost. Which is weird, because I always assumed the core fanbase for movies like The King’s Speech and The Iron Lady was inner-city teenagers. “Talk to the face, Homespigot, let’s go peep that iFlick about the rizzoyal fam! I’ll hit you back on the flippity flop,” I imagine them saying (note: I am unfamiliar with inner-city teen slang). Surf’s up, Pickle Face!

Anyway, here’s a facty breakdown of what the LA Times found.

  • Median age of Academy voters: 62
  • Voters younger than 50: 14%
  • 77% male, 23% female
  • 94% Caucasian
  • 2% black
  • Less than 2% Latino
  • Caucasians make up more than 90% of every branch except actors, which are 88% white.
  • Notable members: Tom Hanks, Sidney Poitier, Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Hudson, Mo’Nique, Jeffrey Wright
  • Notable non-members: Woody Allen, George Lucas
  • Less-Notable members: Erik Estrada, Lorenzo Lamas, Pee Wee Herman, Gavin MacLeod from Love Boat, Meat Loaf, Jaclyn Smith from Charlie’s Angels, Vin Diesel, Steve Guttenberg

If the academy is 94% white, 2% black, and less than 2% Latino, you might be wondering who makes up the other 2% and change. The answer? A combination of Vin Diesel, The Rock, and George Takei. Also, I know what you’re thinking, and no, they never say whether Verne Troyer is a member.

The academy is primarily a group of working professionals, and nearly 50% of the academy’s actors have appeared on screen in the last two years. But membership is generally for life, and hundreds of academy voters haven’t worked on a movie in decades.

Some are people who have left the movie business entirely but continue to vote on the Oscars — including a nun, a bookstore owner and a retired Peace Corps recruiter. Under academy rules, their votes count the same as ballots cast by the likes of Julia Roberts, George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio.


In 2004, the academy began limiting membership growth to 30 per year, not including those admitted to fill vacancies created by deaths, resignations or retirement. It also clarified and stiffened its policies for admittance. The available slots are allocated among the 15 branches and the academy’s at-large division.
There are three ways to become a candidate for membership: land an Oscar nomination; apply and receive a recommendation from two members of a branch; or earn an endorsement from the branch’s membership committee or the academy staff.
The membership committees then vote on the candidates; those who get a majority are invited to join. The academy says almost everyone accepts the offer.
Actors, for example, now must have three significant credits to be considered for membership, and producers need two solo producing credits or the equivalent. Such criteria benefit people with more experience. “The academy is always going to be slightly older — if just because you have to have about five years of credits before you’re even considered,” said Joe Letteri, a four-time Oscar winner for visual effects.

Long story short, it’d be nice if the Academy had more youth, vagina, and pigment. But even if they did, they’d probably just vote for whoever the Learned Elders of Zion tell them, just like everyone in Hollywood. It’s the only way the Jew bankers will finance them.

[via The LA Times, here and here. Picture via Zimbio.]