Solving The Diversity Issue in the Academy

Brian McLaughlin, an instructor in our Entertainment Business Bachelor’s degree program, wrote a piece in The Hollywood Reporter about how to address the issue of diversity in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. McLaughlin teaches statistics at The Los Angeles Film School, and applied a theory to make up for the lack of equal representation in the storied organization.

Mathematics come into play in creating a solution to the issue of diversification within the Academy. Given the unequal representation of women and minorities within the system, McLaughlin proposes weighting female and minority votes more greatly in order to make up for the deficit of Academy members from each particular group. For example, women make up roughly 25% of the Academy, but represent 50% of moviegoers. For simplifications sake, let’s say that the Academy is made up of 6,000 members. By weighing female member’s votes so that each one has three times the weight of a man’s vote, total male votes would have a weight of 4,500 (6,000 x 3/4) and so would total female votes (1,500 x 3). Male and female perspectives would be roughly balanced.

Brian’s proposal covers a variety of additional issues of inequality, and is a careful construction that would ensure that every voice is heard equally in the entertainment community. Read more about Brian McLaughlin’s concept here.