February 21, 2012
Yo, L.A. Times: You forgot to mention most academy voters are part of a minority group
An L.A. Times survey on the demographics of voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences found that a majority of its 5,765 members are “overwhelmingly” white males. The article reporting the findings of the survey, based on interviews with 5,100 academy members, or 89% of total academy voters (a somewhat dubious claim since the academy roster is kept strictly confidential) was deeply concerned with the academy’s lack of minority representation.
I’m not sure what all the fuss is about since the academy is probably “overwhelmingly” Jewish, which, last I checked, is still considered a minority group. Besides its ignorance, what the survey really reveals is that one of the dangers of being a minority with power is that the miracle of that power can be overlooked and taken for granted. But just because Jews aren’t a minority in Hollywood, they are still one of the smallest ethnic groups in the world.
A few statistics: There are roughly 13.5 million Jews worldwide, which comprise less than 1% of the world’s 7 billion people.
So even though it may not seem politically correct to acknowledge that Hollywood’s Jews are in fact a minority (this does not absolve the academy for its lack of diversity elsewhere, specifically in the female and African American population), it is true nonetheless. Complaining that the academy lacks minority voices is actually false; what it lacks is diversity. But then I ask you, who says the leaders of an industry have to represent the population at large? The academy is hardly as civically-oriented as the halls of political power—and last I checked, hardly any of the Republican presidential candidates are representative of the general populace.
And by the way, a Jewish person has never been elected an American president.