The board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave artists’ representatives the right to vote at the Oscars, The Hollywood Reporter reported.
For decades, select officers had been admitted to the Academy as associate members, which meant that they enjoyed all the privileges of membership (evaluations of members, inspectors, etc.) except voting.
Agents who are already members will be transferred to the generating member branch, although they do not yet have a classification within their 17 branches, and new entrants will automatically enter with those privileges.
The reps had long argued that they are integral members of the Hollywood community and that they deserved a full membership.
However, detractors claimed that officers come with built-in biases that will lead them to support their own clients or agency clients, risking the possibility of voting fairly.
One reason the Academy may have chosen this moment to expand its membership to include officers is its desire to further increase the number of women and people of color in its ranks, as part of its recently announced Academy Aperture 2025 initiative.
New invitations for Academy members are expected to be announced this week.