This President's Day, Americans have the opportunity to celebrate the myriad contributions that elderly white males have made to our nation, like the Constitution and competitive fishing programs on ESPN3 and Clint Eastwood whispering in Super Bowl ads. Now, thanks to the L.A. Times' demographic study of the 5,765 members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Americans have another thing to thank old white guys for: the fact that we live in a world where the star of Miss Congeniality 2 has a Oscar.
Although the Academy's roster and selection process have traditionally been shrouded in secrecy, the L.A. Times spoke with "thousands of academy members and representatives" for their study, identifying approximately 89 percent of the Academy members, or 5,100 people. The demographic breakdown of this number is pretty surprising, in a "so unsurprising it's actually surprising" kinda way: according to the Times, approximately 94 percent of these voters are Caucasian, and 77 percent of Oscar voters are male. 2 percent of Academy members are black, and the same number are Latino; what's more, only 14 percent of Academy members are younger than 50.
The report also names some of the specific individuals who were identified as Oscar voters (including Erik Estrada from ChiPs, a retired Peace Corps recruiter, and a nun, FYI), but by far the most revealing part of the report is how heavily the committee skews toward white male voters. So yeah, if you were one of the 37 million people who stroked out during the Oscars last year while shrieking, "Who the hell would give Natalie Portman the Best Actress Oscar for doing a third-rate, indie-fied impersonation of Elizabeth Berkley's character in Showgirls?!", the answer is: the same dudes who report you to management when you try to smoke a doobie at Steely Dan concerts, that's who.