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Oscar voters '94pc white and 77pc male'

London, Mon, 20 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 20 (ANI): The secretive Oscar electorate finally seems to have been unmasked, as a new study says that it has found out a majority of those who decide who the Oscar goes to.


A study by the Los Angeles Times claims to have identified 5,112 of the guild's 5,765 voters, and finding that the voter-base is 94 per cent Caucasian and 77 per cent male.


The average age is 62 and only 14 per cent of members are under 50, according to the study. Only 2 per cent are black, less than 2 per cent are Latino, and 15 academy branches are exclusively made up of white males.


Curiously, a nun, bookshop owner and retired Peace Corps recruit are also listed as members, casting their ballots with the same clout as megastars George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Leonardo Di Caprio.


The findings make frustrating reading for the academy's critics, among them Denzel Washington and Samuel L Jackson, who have spent years protesting at the lack of black and minority nominees.


Others reacted with anger, with some insiders calling the situation "ridiculous".


"You would think that in this day and age, there would be a little more equality across the board, but that is not the case," the Telegraph quoted Nancy Schreiber, one of a handful of women working in the academy's cinematography branch, as telling the LA Times.


"Being a cinematographer should not be gender-based, and it is ridiculous that it is," she said.


Bernie Casey, a black actor who says he recently quit the academy due to inequalities, said people of colour are always "peripheral" when it comes to doling out the awards.


"Asians, Latinos, black people - you never see them. We are 320 million people in America and about 48 million black people and the same of Latin descent - but you would not believe that based on what you see in the films," he said.


However, not everyone agrees. Frank Pierson, the former academy president who serves on the board of governors, says membership should be on merit and not tapered to fit an ideal. Mr Pierson was himself an Oscar winner in 1976 for screenplay 'Dog Day Afternoon'.


"I don't see any reason why the academy should represent the entire American population. That's what the People's Choice Awards are for.


"We represent the professional filmmakers, and if that doesn't reflect the general population, so be it," he said. (ANI)


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