For the first time in Academy Awards history, talent agents will be able to vote in the Oscars.
On June 28, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors voted to define talent agents as "Members-at-Large," granting them voting privileges at the Oscars.
The Academy has 17 branches, including actors, crafts, documentaries, directors, and writers. There are two membership status categories, Members-at-Large and Associates. Agents were previously classified as Associates and barred from voting, because their work was traditionally viewed as a less direct aspect of the movie-making process, more concerned with the brokering of deals than creating the films.
There are currently 111 agents in AMPAS who will be granted Members-at-Large status and voting rights. It's possible more agents will be invited to join this Tuesday, when the Academy releases its list of new 2020 members.
This move is coming in the middle of a big push for diversity both within the Academy and Hollywood as a whole, but agents have been fighting for the change for years. Proponents are quick to point out that some movies wouldn't happen at all if agents didn't make deals and act as advocates, getting projects off the ground on behalf of writers, actors, directors, and producers.
The 2021 Oscars have been postponed to April 25.
What do you think of this news? Are you excited to see big names from places like CAA and WME join the ranks of the Academy? Let us know how you think this will affect the Oscars.